Wedding_in_New_Orleans photo by Jami430-Wikimedia

Top 10 Outstanding Facts about Gay Marriage in the United States


Same-sex marriage also known as gay marriage is the union of two people of the same sex or gender.

Though the concept has been frowned upon by many people, the records of gay marriage date back to the first century.

The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriages are human rights and Civil rights activist organizations and scientific communities that have supported and ensured homosexuals receive just as equal rights as heterosexuals.

Today polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and some developing countries.

Here are the top 10 outstanding facts about Gay Marriage in the United States.

1. Gay marriage has been legalized in all States of the US

Same_sex_marriage_vote_in_the_Minnesota_Senate photo by Fibonacci Blue-Wikimedia

Same-sex marriage in the States spread from one state to all 50 states over 11 years.

In 2004, gay marriage was legal in just one state, but over 11 years, marriage equality gained a stand across the nation to finally be legalized by all 50 States and Washington, DC.

It was through a blend of court decisions, ballot initiatives, and laws forward through State legislatures.

Gay individuals have been under the radar of harassment by a world that saw them as misfits, but that changed when the States Supreme court legalized same-sex marriages.

 It stimulated the public for the first time to fathom possibilities of Unions between gay and lesbian couples finally aiding the shift in public opinions.

The U.S Supreme court legalized gay marriage on June 26th,2015 bringing marriage equality to the entire US.

Justice Anthony Kennedy who was part of the court’s liberals in the 5_4 rulings wrote “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest level of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family”.

The strongest argument put forward that had a hand in the decision of the Supreme Court, was that prohibiting same-sex marriage would be inherently discriminatory and therefore violates the 14th amendment of

US Constitution.

2. Hawaii was the first State to ban gay marriages

Gay_marriage_protester photo by Fibonacci Blue-Wikimedia


Hawaii’s denial of granting marriage licenses to gay marriages was first challenged in State court in 1991 and it yielded some results.

The ideologies surrounding gay marriages in the late 19 century were surrounded by a lot of hostility and in 1993, a ruling was made by the Hawaiian Supreme Court, making Hawaii the first State in the US to consider legal changes to ban gay marriage.

It was not until 1998 that Hawaii voters forced the State to modify the State constitution and restrict marriage to opposite-sex marriages.

The Supreme Court of Hawaii considered the final appeal in the case, and in 1999, it upheld the state’s ban on gay marriages and will remain so till 2012 when Hawaiian civil union law took effect.

3. Gay marriage has been on the rise in the US

The US support for legal same-sex marriage trend has risen upward, it is now at 70%, and is a significantly rising upward for a quarter century.

About 27% of Americans showed support for gay and lesbian marriages in 1996 when Gallup first posed the question.

The support steadily rose over time eventually reaching the majority of level for the first time in 2011.

By 2015, support for gay marriages had reached 60% and the issue had become less prominent in U.S politics.

The latest increase in support came from the Republicans who were the party group least in favor of gay marriage, they showed the majority support in 2021 indicating 55%.

4. Barack Obama was the first US president to support gay marriage

Barack Obama is known as the biggest supporter of same-sex marriage, though his idea on the topic changed over the years before he made a final resolution to support it.

For instance, in the 1990s, while campaigning, he stated he believed in the marriage union between the same- sex.

In 2008, during his first presidential campaign, he expressed his view on marriage as a union between a man and a woman according to his Christian belief.

In 2010, he expressed his support and equalization of gay union rights and opposite-sex union rights.

In 2012, he marked history by becoming the first US president in the office, when he openly said that same-sex marriage should be made legal.

 5. The Native American Tribe has legalized Gay marriage

Although the Supreme court legalized gay marriage in the States and its territories, it had no jurisdiction to impose such laws on Native American Tribal nations.

Twenty-five tribal nations approved and legally recognized same-sex marriage.

Some tribes have even passed legislation especially addressing same-sex relationships and some specify that the State law and jurisdiction govern tribal marriages.

In April 2022, gay marriage was legally recognized in at least 46 tribal nations.

6. Some counties were not issuing a Gay marriage license

Leaving_Seattle_City_Hall_on_first_day_of_gay_marriage_in_Washingto photo by Dennis Bratland-Wikimedia

Despite the Supreme court legalizing gay marriage, the rejection surrounding it did not end.

Starting in 2017 officials of one Texas county, Rion, issued marriage licenses but claimed they would not accept Gay couples, and upon asked they refused to comment on what they would do if a same-sex couple were to apply for a license.

Officials in several Alabama counties stopped issuing marriage licenses rather than issuing them to gay couples, by 2017 the number of counties conducting such behaviors dropped to eight.

In 2019 Alabama legislature passed a bill replacing marriage licenses with marriage certificates.

With such laws being enforced the final eight counties resumed allowing couples to marry on August 29, 2019.

7.The ban on adoption was lifted from all the States

Male_Couple_With_Child photo by Kurt Löwenstein –Wikimedia

Laws relating to LGBT couples varied by the State till 2017. Some states granted full adoption rights to same-sex couples, while others banned same-sex adoption or only permitted one partner in a gay marriage or relationship to adopt the biological child of the other.

Despite these rulings, Gay couples still face discrimination when trying to foster children.

On 31 march 2016, Federal District Court dealt away with the Mississippi ban on Gay couple adoption.

The Supreme court ruling allowed gay couples to be listed on birth certificates and made adoption legal in all 50 states.

The attitudes toward same-sex parenting have improved and overall public opinion has changed positively in the United States.

The public condemnation of gay couples parenting dropped from 50% to 35% in the United States while acceptance has remained relatively stable.

8.The First Gay marriage was held in 1970

Back in 1970, gay couples Jack and McConnell applied for a marriage license at the Hennepin County courthouse in Minnesota and to no surprise, they were turned down.

Though disheartened they changed their tactic and found a loophole, which Jack discovered and decided to use to their advantage.

It’s this determination Jack had that saw him through Law school in the 1960s to find how gay Couples could get married.

The couple unleashed their cunning plan and Jack changed his name to gender-neutral, Pat Lyn Baker so as not to garner any attention in the marriage license application.

The court clerk approved the couple’s license application and they wed in a ceremony presided over by Methodist Pastor Roger Lynn.

The determination of the couple was admirable but the State Law frowned upon their deceit and the county clerk refused to record the license.

9.Lavender gay marriage was prominent among Hollywood stars

Lavender marriage is a term used to describe a Male female mixed-orientation marriage, undertaken as a marriage of convenience to conceal the socially stigmatized sexual orientation of one or both partners.

The term originated in the 20th century when public attitude made it impossible for a gay person to pursue a public career, especially in the Hollywood industry.

These marriages were arranged by Hollywood studios to conceal the sexual orientation of their stars.

The lavender marriages were a solution for “moral clauses” issued by big studios in that era.

The clauses were introduced by Universal Film company and any actor who violated the rules salary was discontinued.

One of the most speculated lavender marriages was the 1919 Union of silent film actor and early sex symbol Rudolf Valentino and actress Jean Acker who was been gossiped about being a lesbian.

10.Gay couples in the US military were not to disclose their status

Wedding Ceremony of LT Gary Ross and Dan Swezy photo by Mark Collier-Wikimedia

On December 21, 1993, the Clinton administration issued Defense Directive where military applicants were not asked about their sexual orientation, hence the policy “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy”.

The idea then rotated on the belief that homosexuality wasn’t compatible with military services and anyone who came out as gay was to be discharged.

The policy was challenged by human activists and on September 30, 2011, the Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley allowed military chaplains same-sex marriages “on or off military installation”.