The debate over the legalization of same-sex marriage was long one of the most polarizing issues [JURIST op-ed] facing the American legal community. Several major cases shaped the course of the debate over the past 40 years. Loving v. Virginia is a US Supreme Court case which declared laws prohibiting interracial marriage invalid. This landmark civil rights case is cited as precedent for many same-sex marriage cases.
History of same-sex marriage in the United States - Wikipedia
In the United States the question of whether couples of the same sex should be allowed to marry has roiled politics since at least The state, in turn, argued that it had a compelling interest in preventing same-sex marriage, as that practice would inherently damage the public good. Soon after this finding, Hawaiian legislators added such a definition to the state constitution and thus made moot the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex partners. Many Americans felt that the Hawaii court decision represented a serious threat to social stability, and in the U. This legislation declared that same-sex marriages would not be recognized for federal purposes, such as the award of Social Security benefits normally afforded to a surviving spouse or employment-based benefits for the partners of federal employees. The act also restated existing law by providing that no U.
The history of same-sex marriage in the United States dates from the early s, when the first lawsuits seeking legal recognition of same-sex relationships brought the question of civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples to public attention though they proved unsuccessful. Miike that suggested the possibility that the state's prohibition might be unconstitutional. That decision was met by actions at both the federal and state level to restrict marriage to male-female couples, notably the enactment at the federal level of the Defense of Marriage Act.
In the United States, the availability of legally-recognized same-sex marriage expanded from one state in to all fifty states in through various state and federal court rulings, state legislation, and direct popular votes. The fifty states each have separate marriage laws , which must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution , as first established in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Civil rights campaigning in support of marriage without distinction as to sex or sexual orientation began in the s. Nelson saw the Supreme Court of the United States decline to become involved.