11 Facts About Gay Marriage

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  1. The Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.
  2. Since then, 10 more countries worldwide have legalized gay marriage including South Africa, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Norway, Iceland, Argentina, and Portugal.
  3. 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.
  4. California legalized gay marriage, but it was outlawed with the passing of Proposition 8 in November 2008.
  5. Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to legally ban gay marriage in 1998.
  6. 38 states ban same-sex marriage, some by constitutional amendment, some by law, and the majority by both.
  7. 7 states provide some, if not all, spousal rights to unmarried couples in domestic partnerships, including: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, and Wisconsin.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. In recent polls, about 70 percent of voters under the age of 30 support same-sex marriage.
  11. 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, AUPro Con, NY Times, NYT

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