History of Gay Marriage
Traditionalists claim that marriage is supposed to be a lifelong love match between a man and a woman in order to produce children. However, since marriage is increasingly a civil affair, homosexual couples have fought for the right to marry. In the United States, the history of gay marriage dates to 1970.
In 1970, two Minnesota men applied for a marriage license, taking their fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, unsuccessfully. In 1973, Maryland became the first state to specifically outlaw gay marriage. However, the tide began to turn in the 1980s. In 1987, some 2000 couples participated in a symbolic same-sex wedding ceremony on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples who had been cohabitating for at least ten years could be classified as a family.
In 1993, the state of Hawaii became the first to recognized the right of same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. However, the Hawaii legislature quickly moved to ban gay marriages. In 2000, Vermont became the first state to approve civil unions between same-sex couples. A year later, the Netherlands became the first nation to legalize gay marriage. In the United States, more states are seeing their bans on gay marriage being declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the issue in 2015, possibly paving the way towards a new chapter in the history of gay marriage.