May 24 marked the first day that gay and lesbian couples in Taiwan can register to marry. Countries where same-sex marriage is legal in some areas but not nationwide were excluded. To date, only 29 out of the countries in the world have legalized same-sex marriage. While many same-sex couples have no choice but to wait for legalization — some are together for decades before they are finally able to marry — in many countries, people who can choose to get married are doing so later in life.
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History of same-sex marriage in the United States
Marriage: Countries where same sex unions are officially legal
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. The first legal same-sex marriage ceremony in the United States happened on February 12, , when the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, ordered city hall to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States
Rita A. The recent landmark decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to legalize gay and lesbian marriage has brought extensive media coverage and discussion of same sex marriage. The complexities surrounding same sex marriage are multifaceted and include a broad range of areas such as: legislation; institutional, social, and religious views; personal beliefs and biases; civil rights, ethics, and values. The National Association of Social Workers NASW has policies and a code of ethics that address and provide guidance to the social work profession on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues. Currently, the same sex marriage issue is at the forefront of the equal rights discussion and debate throughout the country.
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.