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19 Dec Think about it. When Obama came to office, he still hadn't publicly supported same sex marriage. Last year, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Over the last year, bottom line-driven businesses have boycotted entire states. Every four years, the Democratic Party puts together our party platform, the ideas and beliefs that govern our party as a whole. What follows is Democrats applaud last year's decision by the Supreme Court that recognized that LGBT people—like other Americans—have the right to marry the person they love. But there is. Activists called for protests and boycotts, while supporters of the restaurant chain and opponents of same-sex marriage ate there in support of the restaurant. National political figures both for and against the actions spoke out and some business partners severed ties with the chain. Chick-fil-A released a statement in July.

Fifty years ago, every state criminalized homosexual sex, and even the American Civil Liberties Union did not object. The federal government would not hire people who were openly gay or permit them to serve in the military.

Police routinely raided gay bars. Only a handful of gay-rights organizations existed, and their membership was sparse. Most Americans would have considered the idea of same-sex marriage facetious. Today, opinion polls consistently show a majority of Americans endorsing such marriages; among those aged 18 to 29, support is as high as 70 percent. President Barack Obama has embraced marriage equality. Last November, for the first time, a majority of voters in a state—in fact, in three states—approved same-sex marriage, and in a fourth, they rejected a proposed state College Dating Gay Republicans Married To Democrats Boycotting amendment to forbid it.

How did support for gay marriage grow so quickly—to the point where the Supreme Court may deem it a constitutional right in ? In the early s, amid a burst of gay activism unleashed by the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, several same-sex couples filed lawsuits demanding marriage licenses.

She is particularly known for her polemical style, [21] and describes as someone who likes to "stir up the pot. That result seemed to influence some legislators in New York and New Jersey, where gay-marriage bills were defeated after the election. Early inlegislatures in Washington, Maryland, and New Jersey passed gay-marriage bills, though Governor Chris Christie vetoed the last of these.

Courts did not take their arguments very seriously. A trial judge in Kentucky instructed one lesbian plaintiff that she would not be permitted into the courtroom unless she exchanged her pantsuit for a dress.

Minnesota Supreme Court click here would not dignify the gay-marriage claim by asking even a single question at oral argument. Marriage equality was not then a priority of gay activists. Indeed, most gays and lesbians at the time were deeply ambivalent about marriage. Lesbian feminists tended to regard the institution as oppressive, given the traditional rules that defined it, such as coverture and immunity from rape.

Only in the late s did activists begin to pursue legal recognition of their relationships—and even gay marriage. The AIDS epidemic had highlighted the vulnerability of gay and lesbian partnerships: An entire generation of young gay men was forced to contemplate legal issues surrounding their relationships: In addition, the many gay and lesbian baby boomers who were becoming parents sought legal recognition of their families.

Still, as late asroughly 75 percent of Americans deemed homosexual sex immoral, only 29 percent supported gay adoptions, and only 10 percent to 20 percent backed same-sex marriage. Not a single jurisdiction in the world had yet embraced marriage equality. Inthree gay couples in Hawaii challenged the constitutionality of laws limiting marriage to a man and woman. No national gay-rights organization would support litigation considered hopeless—but inthe state supreme court unexpectedly ruled that excluding same-sex couples from marriage was presumptively unconstitutional.

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The case was remanded for a trial, at which the government had the opportunity to show a compelling justification for banning gay marriage. Ina trial judge ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to marry. But even in a relatively gay-friendly state, marriage equality was then a radical concept: A similar vote in Alaska continue reading year produced a nearly identical outcome.

For the Republican Party in the s, gay marriage was a dream issue that mobilized its religious-conservative base and put it on the same side as most swing voters. Such marriages were nonexistent at the time. One poll showed that 68 percent of Americans opposed gay marriage. Gay marriage also entered the national political arena in Congress passed the bill by lopsided margins, and President Bill Clinton, eager to neutralize the issue, signed it.

The litigation victory in Hawaii inspired activists in Vermont to follow suit. At that time, no American state had enacted anything like civil unions. Developments in Vermont resonated nationally. All 10 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in denounced civil unions.

The Iowa ruling appeared especially significant: Across the border in North Dakota, a state marriage amendment passed by 73 percent to 27 percent. Coulter spoke about drugs as a guest on Piers Morgan Livewhen she said that marijuana users "can't perform daily functions. I thought if I leaked the distinguishing characteristic it would show bad faith in negotiations.

Activists in Massachusetts, inspired by Vermont, filed their own lawsuit in demanding marriage equality. Inthe Supreme Judicial Court vindicated their claim in Goodridge v.

Anti-Gay Laws Bring Backlash in Mississippi and North Carolina

The ruling sparked only a mild local backlash: In the ensuing state elections, marriage-equality supporters actually gained seats in the legislature. Elsewhere, however, the Massachusetts ruling generated enormous political resistance. Bush immediately denounced it, and many Republican representatives called for a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and woman.

The issue proved an enormous election-year boon to Republicans. Americans at the time rejected gay marriage by two to one, and opponents generally were more passionate than supporters. At the same time, the issue proved vexing to Democrats. That summer, Republican congressional leaders forced a vote on the proposed amendment, even though it had no realistic chance of passing.

Republicans also placed referenda to preserve the traditional definition of marriage on the ballot in 13 states inhoping to make gay marriage more salient in the minds of voters and inspire religious conservatives to come to the polls. All the measures passed easily, by margins of as much as 86 percent to 14 percent in Mississippi.

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The issue proved decisive in some political contests. In Kentucky, incumbent Senator Jim Bunning, a Republican, began attacking gay marriage to rescue his floundering campaign. On Election Day, a state ballot measure barring gay marriage passed by three to one, while Bunning squeaked through with just Analysts attributed his victory to a large turnout of rural conservatives mobilized to vote against gay marriage.

In South Dakota, Republican John Thune, an evangelical Christian, challenged Senate check this out leader Tom Daschle and made opposition to gay marriage a centerpiece of his campaign. They have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here. Across the border in North Dakota, a state marriage amendment passed by 73 percent to 27 percent.

College Dating Gay Republicans Married To Democrats Boycotting Bush regularly called for passage of the federal marriage amendment during the campaign and reminded voters that his opponent, John Kerry, hailed from Massachusetts, whose judges had decreed gay marriage a constitutional right.

If the marriage amendment mobilized enough conservatives to turn out or induced enough swing voters to support Bush, it may have determined the outcome of the presidential election. During the next two years, 10 more states passed constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage. Inhigh courts in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington—possibly influenced by the political backlash ignited by the Massachusetts ruling—also rejected gay marriage.

Despite the fierce political backlash ignited by gay-marriage rulings in the s and s, public backing for gay rights continued to grow, bolstered by sociological, demographic, and cultural factors. Perhaps the most important was that the proportion of Americans who reported knowing someone gay increased from 25 percent in to 74 percent in Knowing gay people strongly predicts support for gay rights; a study found that 65 percent of those who reported knowing someone gay favored gay marriage or civil unions, versus just 35 percent of those who reported not knowing any gays.

Support for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military increased from 56 percent in to 81 percent in Backing for laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations rose from 48 percent in to 75 percent in Support for granting same-sex couples the legal rights and benefits of marriage without the title increased from 23 percent in to Best Dating Site San percent in Shifts in opinion translated into policy changes.

The number of Fortune companies offering healthcare benefits for same-sex partners rose from zero in to in The number of states providing health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees rose from zero in to 15 in Those states with antidiscrimination laws covering sexual orientation increased from one in to 20 in Dramatic changes were also afoot in the popular culture.

Inonly one network television show had a regularly appearing gay character, and a majority of Americans reported that they would not permit their child to watch a show with gay characters.

By mid decade, however, the most popular situation comedies, such as Friends and Mad About Youwere dealing with gay marriage, and inEllen DeGeneres famously came out in a special one-hour episode of her popular show, Ellen. Forty-six million viewers were watching, and Time put her on its cover. Many Americans feel as if they know their favorite television characters, so such small-screen changes also tended to foster acceptance of homosexuality.

As society became more gay-friendly, millions of gays and lesbians chose to come out of the closet. And support for gay marriage gradually increased as well, despite the political backlash against court rulings in its favor.

Between the late s and the late s, support grew from roughly 10 or 20 percent, to 30 or 35 percent. Inthe year after the Massachusetts ruling, one study showed that opponents of gay marriage outnumbered supporters by 29 percentage points; bythat gap had narrowed to 12 percentage points. Support for gay marriage grew for a second, related reason: They are far more likely to know someone who is openly gay and have grown up in an environment that is much more tolerant of homosexuality than that of their parents.

One scholarly study found an extraordinary gap of 44 percentage points between the oldest and youngest survey respondents in their attitudes toward gay marriage.

How Same-Sex Marriage Came to Be

Moreover, despite the short-term political backlash it sparked, gay marriage litigation has probably advanced the cause of marriage equality over the longer term. The litigation has undoubtedly raised the salience of gay marriage, making it an issue subject to much broader discussion and action—an initial prerequisite for social change.

Litigation victories inspired gay activists to file lawsuits in additional states. The rulings also led more gay couples to want marriage—an institution about which they previously had been ambivalent. People often teach themselves not to want something they know they cannot have; the court decisions made gay marriage seem more attainable.

Finally, the gay-marriage rulings created thousands of same-sex married couples, who quickly became the public face of the issue. In turn, friends, neighbors, and co-workers of these couples began to think differently about marriage equality. The sky did not fall. As support for gay marriage grew, high courts in California and Connecticut ruled in its favor in But the California decision was quickly overturned by Proposition 8, which passed by a margin of about 5 percentage points.

Support for gay marriage in California had grown by about 1 percentage point a year sincebut its backers remained just shy of a majority.

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Six months after this bitter defeat, gay marriage took an enormous leap forward. Within a few weeks in the spring ofthe Iowa Supreme Court and three legislatures in New England embraced marriage equality. The Iowa ruling appeared especially significant: Just days later, Vermont became the first state to enact gay marriage legislatively, and New Hampshire and Maine quickly followed. But that fall, Maine voters vetoed the gay-marriage law by That result seemed to influence some legislators in New York and New Jersey, where gay-marriage bills were defeated after the election.