Before the year 2013, the Federal Government considered same-sex marriage as illegal under the Defense of Marriage Act, abbreviated as DOMA. In June 2013, DOMA’s definition of marriage was rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
To date, several states acknowledge and license same-sex marriages with many others allowing limited rights to gay marriages. The turn of events first occurred following a landmark ruling of the highest court of Massachusetts. In the decision made in November 2003, the prohibition of gay marriage was said to be unconstitutional. The first state in America to provide marriage licenses to gay couples was Massachusetts on May 17, 2004.
Three years later, Connecticut followed suit following the Supreme Court’s approval of gay marriages. In California, the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriages was delayed until Proposition 8 of the constitution was amended. Proposition 8 of California’s law defines marriage as occurring between individuals of the opposite sex. In 2010, a ruling was passed that declared Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.
In Iowa, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on April 2009. The ruling came after an earlier attempt by a county judge to allow gay marriage. By June, gay marriages were taking place in Iowa.
In April 2009, Vermont’s legislature introduced a statute allowing gay marriages. Vermont was the first country to allow gay marriages in this way. Although the governor had disregarded the bill, the legislature was above his ruling.
New Hampshire legalized gay marriages in June 2009, making it the sixth state in America to allow same-sex marriage. Maine acknowledged gay marriages in December 2012. The acknowledgment came after an earlier attempt that ended in repeal to this law.
Columbia brought a resolution for the recognition of gay marriages in April 2009. The decision regarding gay marriages became law in December of the same year, and the law came into effect in March the following year.
In June 2011, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, gave his consent to legislation that was approved by the national assembly of New York. However, gay marriages could only be allowed to take place thirty days after the governor’s consent.
Currently, gay marriages are acknowledged in all states.