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- The Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001.
- As of 2014, 13 more countries have legalized same-sex marriage. South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Spain are a few of these countries. Massachusetts was the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
- As of 2014, 20 states have followed: Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
- In 2012, President Obama made US History when he told ABC News, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. Ask your friends and other social influencers to show their support for LGBTQ rights. Sign up for Love It Forward.
- Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to legally ban same-sex marriage in 1998.
- 16 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.
- As of 2014, 55% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal.
- In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (which defined marriage as a union between man and woman) and declared that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages as legal.
- In many countries such as Sudan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, gay people can be punished with the death penalty.
- Though same-sex marriage wasn't legal until the 2000s, same-sex couples were getting married on TV shows in the 1990s. The sitcom “Roseanne” featured a same-sex marriage in 1995 while “Friends” featured a lesbian wedding in 1996.
"same-sex marriage around the world." BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21321731 (accessed July 26, 2014).
BBC News. "Same-sex marriage around the world." BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21321731 (accessed March 10, 2015).
Cable News Network. "Same-sex couples ready to make history in Massachusetts." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/05/17/mass.gay.marriage/ (accessed July 29, 2014).
ABC News Network. "PM Note – ABC Exclusive – Obama Supports Same Sex Marriage, a 16 Year Evolution, A One Issue News Cycle." ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/pm-note-abc-exclusive-obama-supports-gay-marriage-a-16-year-evolution-a-one-issue-news-cycle/ (accessed July 29, 2014).
"same-sex marriage Timeline." Pew Research Centers Religion Public Life Project RSS. http://www.pewforum.org/2008/04/01/gay-marriage-timeline/ (accessed July 29, 2014).
Cable News Network. "Map: Same-sex marriage in the United States." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/us/map-same-sex-marriage/ (accessed March 10, 2015).
"Civil Unions & Domestic Partnership Statutes." Civil Unions and Domestic Partnership Statutes. http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/civil-unions-and-domestic-partnership-statutes.aspx (accessed July 29, 2014).
Roberts, Caitlin. "By the numbers: Same-sex marriage." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/politics/btn-same-sex-marriage/ (accessed July 28, 2014).
The Washington Post. "Supreme Court strikes down key part of Defense of Marriage Act." Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court/2013/06/26/f0039814-d9ab-11e2-a016-92547bf094cc_story.html (accessed July 29, 2014).
"Where is it illegal to be gay?." BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-25927595 (accessed July 29, 2014).
Ten TV Shows That Helped Shape National Attitudes on Same-Sex Couples and Marriage Equality." GLAAD. http://www.glaad.org/blog/ten-tv-shows-helped-shape-national-attitudes-same-sex-couples-and-marriage-equality (accessed July 29, 2014).