Infographic: Tracking changes in same-sex marriage
Where gay marriage stands
Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage is a constitutional right
Friday, June 26: In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court declared gay marriage a fundamental right. "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of a person," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in the ruling, and "under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty."
Supreme Court hears arguments in historic gay-marriage case
Tuesday, April 28: The debate of whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized nationwide began Tuesday morning at the nation's highest court. Tuesday's oral argument will focus on two issues: should gay marriage be federally recognized or a state-level decision, and whether or not a state must recognize a same-sex couple if they were legally married in another state.
One of Alabama's most populous counties stops issuing marriage licenses
Wednesday, March 4: A probate court in Mobile County, Ala., said it would stop issuing marriage licenses a day after the state's Supreme Court ordered Alabama judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The decision conflicts with an earlier ruling by a federal judge who struck down the state's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court refused the state's request to suspend the ruling, effectively making same-sex marriage legal.
Federal judge strikes down Nebraska's same-sex marriage ban
Monday, March 2: U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Batallion blocked Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage and issued a week stay pending an appeal. Nebraska Atty. Gen. Doug Peterson said he would appeal.
Gay marriage begins in Alabama; some counties refuse to issue licenses
Monday, Feb. 9: Some officials in Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday after the Supreme Court ruled against the state’s request for a stay of a lower court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. With the Supreme Court’s action, Alabama becomes the first Deep South state to allow same-sex marriage.
The situation was complicated by a letter Sunday from Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who warned officials not to issue the licenses.
Judge strikes down Alabama's same-sex marriage ban, issues temporary stay
Friday, Jan. 23: U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade found Alabama's gay-marriage ban unconstitutional and issued a 14-day stay two days after her ruling. If the state does not file an appeal during the temporary stay, same-sex marriage will be legal in Alabama on Feb. 9.
U.S. Supreme Court to take on gay marriage cases
Friday, Jan. 16: The Supreme Court will hear four appeals cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee scheduled in April and will make a decision by the end of June. The justices will decide civil rights questions: Does the 14th Amendment give the right for same-sex couples to marry, and are states required to recognize gay marriages that occurred in other states?
Judge strikes down South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban
Monday, Jan. 12: A federal judge found South Dakota's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, the latest in a series of marriage bans to fall nationwide.
U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier stayed her own ruling until an undisclosed date, likely waiting for an inevitable appeals process to play out, but she found that South Dakota's law had infringed on the rights of six same-sex couples who had either sought to marry within the state or have their marriages from other states recognized there.
Gay marriage legal in Florida
Tuesday, Jan. 6: Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ended statewide at midnight Monday.
Supreme Court won't block marriages in Florida
Friday, Dec. 19: The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block gay marriages in Florida. A federal judge previously declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could be issued after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened.
Same sex-marriage ban struck down in Mississippi
Tuesday, Nov. 25: U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves strikes down the state’s gay marriage ban. He puts his ruling on hold.
Same sex-marriage ban struck down in Arkansas
Tuesday, Nov. 25: U.S. District Judge Kristin Baker strikes down the state’s gay marriage ban. She puts her ruling on hold.
Same-sex marriages to begin in South Carolina
Thursday, Nov. 20: South Carolina to start allowing same-sex marriages at noon after the U.S. Supreme Court denies an emergency stay in a 7-2 decision.
Montana same-sex marriage ban struck down
Wednesday, Nov. 19: A federal judge strikes down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris rules that the ban violates the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment. The court’s ruling is effective immediately.
Johnson County, Kan., can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
Tuesday, Nov. 18: The Kansas State Supreme Court clears the way for same-sex marriages in Johnson County. The court does not state whether all of the state’s counties fall under last week’s U.S. Supreme Court order.
Kansas can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
Wednesday, Nov. 12: The U.S. Supreme Court ends a Nov. 10 stay that temporarily prevented Kansas from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state insists the ruling applies to only two counties, Douglas and Sedgwick.
South Carolina same-sex-marriage ban struck down
Wednesday, Nov. 12: A federal judge in South Carolina strikes down that state's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel in Charleston ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated individual rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment. The ruling was stayed until Nov. 20, and the state's attorney general said he would appeal.
Kansas blocked from issuing same-sex marriage license
Monday, Nov. 10: U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor orders a stay that temporarily blocks Kansas from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Wyoming won’t appeal same-sex marriage ruling
Tuesday, Oct. 21: Wyoming Atty. Gen. Peter Michael says the state won’t appeal the U.S. District Court ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples can apply for marriage licenses.
A federal judge strikes down Wyoming’s same-sex marriage ban
Friday, Oct. 17: A U.S. district judge overturned Wyoming's ban, but granted a stay on issuing gay-marriage licenses until Oct. 23 to allow time for an appeal to be filed. Republican Gov. Matt Mead has said the state should not appeal the 10th Circuit court ruling that applies to the state.
Alaska allows same-sex marriage
Friday, Oct. 17: Alaska’s request to block same-sex marriage is turned down by the Supreme Court. Marriages will not be held until Monday because state offices are closed Friday.
Arizona’s gay-marriage ban struck down
Friday, Oct. 17: U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick struck down Arizona's gay marriage ban and declined to issue a stay of his ruling. The state’s attorney general directed clerks to start issuing gay-marriage licenses.
Alaska same-sex marriages put on hold by Appeals Court
Wednesday, Oct. 15: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issues stay that puts same-sex marriages on hold until noon Friday, Oct. 17.
Alaska's constitutional ban struck down by federal judge
Sunday, Oct. 12: The state's gay marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional, opening the way for the first same-sex weddings in the state to begin immediately.
Kansas state supreme court issues temporary stay
Friday, Oct. 10: The state supreme court issued a temporary stay, putting same-sex marriage on hold.
Court decisions make same-sex marriage legal in Idaho and North Carolina
Friday, Oct. 10: The Supreme Court lifted its temporary hold on same-sex marriages in Idaho, and a federal judge struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages.
West Virginia doesn't fight same-sex marriage ban
Thursday, Oct. 9: Atty. Gen. Patrick Morrisey says West Virginia won't fight challenge to same-sex marriage ban.
South Carolina Supreme Court halts same-sex marriage licenses
Thursday, Oct. 9: The court ruled that a federal judge must rule in a case challenging the state’s constitutional ban.
Kansas and South Carolina issue gay-marriage licenses
Wednesday, Oct. 8: A judge in Johnson County, Kan., ordered county clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. In Charleston County, S.C., more than a dozen marriage licenses were issued to gay couples.
Gay marriages in Idaho and Nevada temporarily halted
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy temporarily halted gay marriages in Idaho and Nevada, a day after a federal appeals court declared same-sex weddings legal in those states.
Supreme Court puts gay marriages on hold in Idaho but not Nevada
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Within hours of Kennedy’s emergency order to stay same-sex marriages in Idaho and Nevada, the high court revised the order to allow gay marriages in Nevada to proceed.
9th Circuit strikes down same-sex marriage bans
Tuesday, Oct. 7: Same-sex marriage bans are struck down in Idaho and Nevada, but the ruling applies to all of the circuit’s states and overturns similar prohibitions in Alaska, Arizona and Montana.
Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage
Monday, Oct. 6: The court’s decision cleared the way for gays and lesbians to marry in 11 additional states, bringing the total to 30 plus the District of Columbia.
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