The first lawsuits involving same-sex marriage started in the s, bringing the question of civil marriage rights for same-sex couples to public attention. Many of these lawsuits were unsuccessful. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon become the first gay couple to marry and receive official recognition after being together for 50 years. On May 17, , Massachusetts became the first state and sixth jurisdiction in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Gay Marriage Is Legal in All 50 States: Supreme Court
Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States : The Two-Way : NPR
However, LGBT Americans may still face some legal and many social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, particularly in states with large conservative populations, such as in the Deep South ; in rural areas; and in some Native American tribal nations. In five landmark rulings between the years and , the Supreme Court invalidated a state law banning protected class recognition based upon homosexuality , struck down sodomy laws nationwide, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act , made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, and prohibited employment discrimination against gay and transgender employees. LGBT-related anti-discrimination law regarding housing and private and public services varies by state, leaving residents of some states unprotected. Twenty-three states plus Washington, D. Family law also varies by state. Adoption of children by same-sex married couples is legal nationwide since June following the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v.
New York Becomes the Sixth State to Legalize Gay Marriage
That's the assessment of Hillary Goodridge, one of 14 people whose lawsuit led Massachusetts in to become the first state to sanction gay and lesbian marriages. Twelve years later, by a vote, the high court made it 50 states. More than , same-sex couples in the United States are married, including about , who have wed since the ruling. The Supreme Court extended workplace protections nationwide last week for the LGBTQ community, ruling that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers. But the court's majority , led by conservative Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch , did not close the door on religious exemptions, saying "other employers in other cases may raise free exercise arguments that merit careful consideration.
In the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, the U. Supreme Court ruled that all state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, making gay marriage legal throughout America.