Same-Sex Marriage Fast Facts

Willie Grace | 11/23/2014, 11:10 p.m. | Updated on 11/23/2014, 11:10 p.m.
LEGAL In the following 35 states and the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, ...
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in North Carolina.

August 12, 2004 - The California Supreme Court orders San Francisco officials, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, not to license additional same-sex marriages, pending resolution of the constitutional challenges to state marriage statutes

September 30, 2004 - The U.S. House of Representatives votes against amending the Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.

October 5, 2004 - A Louisiana judge throws out an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage, because the ban also includes civil unions.

November 2, 2004 - Eleven states pass constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between a man and a woman only: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

March 14, 2005 - A Superior Court judge rules that California's law that limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

April 14, 2005 - Oregon's Supreme Court nullifies the same-sex marriage licenses issued there in 2004.

May 12, 2005 - A federal judge strikes down Nebraska's ban on protection and recognition of same-sex couples.

August 5, 2004 - A Washington judge rules the state's law defining marriage is unconstitutional.

January 18, 2005 - The Louisiana State Supreme Court reinstates the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that was thrown out in October 2004.

September 6, 2005 - The California Legislature passes a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The legislature is the first in the United States to act without a court order to sanction same-sex marriages.

September 14, 2005 - The Massachusetts Legislature rejects a proposed amendment to its state constitution to ban same-sex marriages.

September 29, 2005 - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the same-sex marriage bill.

October 7, 2005 - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court hears a case challenging a 1913 law prohibiting nonresidents from marrying in Massachusetts if the marriage is prohibited in their home state. The law has been used in recent years to prevent same-sex couples from getting married.

November 8, 2005 - Texas becomes the 19th state to adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

January 20, 2006 - A Maryland judge rules the state's law defining marriage is unconstitutional.

March 30, 2006 - The highest court in Massachusetts rules that same-sex couples who live in other states cannot get married in Massachusetts unless same-sex marriage is legal in their home states.

June 6, 2006 - Alabama voters pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

July 6, 2006 - The New York Court of Appeals rules that a state law banning same-sex marriage is legal, and the Georgia Supreme Court upholds the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

November 7, 2006 - Constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage are on the ballot in eight states. Seven states: Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, pass theirs, while Arizona voters reject the ban.

December 21, 2006 - Civil unions are legalized in New Jersey. The law goes into effect on February 19, 2007.

May 15, 2008 - The California Supreme Court rules that the state's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. The decision goes into effect on June 16th at 5:01 p.m.