50 years ago in the United States, homosexual residents began their cry for equal treatment under the law. In the 1970’s, the courts in this nation wouldn’t even think of hearing cases regarding the rights of homosexuals in this country let along any arguments regarding the legality of their relationships.The movement keep going and gained more and more traction as the homosexual community wished to have their relationships viewed in the same manner as heterosexual relationships.
In 1991, couples in Hawaii challenged traditional marriage laws. Then again, in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Clinton which stated that the states did not have to recognize same-sex marriage, and the federal government would not acknowledge same-sex couples when they signed up for federal benefits.
Not long after same-sex marriage laws were being challenged in Hawaii, it inspired others in different states from across the country to begin challenging traditional marriage laws. In 1999, Vermont became the first state to say that same sex couples were afforded the same rights as traditional couples. After that precdent was set, it wasn’t long until other states began to follow suit. Massachusetts then became the next state to honor same sex marriage and gave them the same rights as traditional couples including state benefits.
As support for same sex marriage grew, there was plenty of opposition. Christian conservatives and Republicans alike rallied against same sex marriage at every turn. With the continued changing tides in the country and views becoming more tolerant, conservatives saw state after state begin to recognize same-sex marriage. 37 states and the District of Columbia adopted same-sex marriage laws that gave couples the same rights as traditional married couples including state benefits and other legal avenues not allowed to them before.
Finally, in June, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could not be discrminated against. The landmark decision made same-sex marriage the law of the land, much to the shagrin of those who opposed it. The justices ruled that under the 14th Amendment, same-sex couples are afforded the same rights as traditional couples. Every state would now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and they would now have to recognize same-sex marriages as legitimate from other states.
The justices stated that marriage is an aspect of life that should be left up to an individual and not the government. The opinion states that, “decisions about marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.” Also, the language in the opinion that stated they had the right to have intimate relations which releved any laws that banned homosexual relations.