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Hawaii voters approve constitutional language allowing their legislature to determine policy on same-sex marriage, effectively overturning a series of earlier court decisions that may have required the state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The Vermont Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as married heterosexual couples. This timeline highlights the changes in state policies leading up to that ruling, starting in 1995 – when Utah became the first state to enact a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Supreme Court ruled all state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry nationwide.Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage following a ruling by the state’s highest court in 2003.Alaska voters approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.The Connecticut Supreme Court rules that the state’s constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry, making Connecticut the second state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The Supreme Court of California rules that the state’s constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.
Later in the year, however, California voters approve a constitutional amendment (known as Proposition 8) banning same-sex marriage.
The decision prompts the state to enact a law in 2000 allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil unions. Local officials in California, New York, New Mexico and Oregon allow same-sex couples to marry. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah approve constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules that the state constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, making the Bay State the first in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. The Federal Marriage Amendment, which would add language to the U. Constitution banning same-sex marriage nationwide, is introduced in the U. New Jersey enacts a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
Voters in Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin approve constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
Voters in Arizona reject a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, marking the first time such a measure has been rejected by voters.