11 Facts About Gay Marriage
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- The Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.
- Since then, 10 more countries worldwide have legalized gay marriage including South Africa, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Norway, Iceland, Argentina, and Portugal.
- Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. Since then, 8 more states have made same-sex marriage legal: Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, New Hampshire and Washington D.C.
- California legalized gay marriage, but it was outlawed with the passing of Proposition 8 in November 2008.
- Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to legally ban gay marriage in 1998.
- 38 states ban same-sex marriage, some by constitutional amendment, some by law, and the majority by both.
- 7 states provide some, if not all, spousal rights to unmarried couples in domestic partnerships, including: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, and Wisconsin.
- 5 states recognize civil unions for gay couples, not including the states who have replaced civil unions with same-sex marriage. Civil unions grant some but not all of the legal benefits of marriage. The states include: New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, and Illinois.
- On May 9, 2012, President Obama made US History when he told ABC News, “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” Obama was reelected for a second term in November, 2012.
- In recent polls, about 70 percent of voters under the age of 30 support same-sex marriage.
- Though gay marriage wasn't legal until the 2000s, gay couples were getting married on TV shows in the 1990s. Sitcom Roseanne featured a gay marriage in 1995 while Friends featured a lesbian wedding in 1996.
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Sources: Care 2 , States That Allow Gay Marriage , CBS NEWS , AU , Pro Con , NY Times , NYT