One of the great political debates that occupied our Founding Fathers was over the proper balance between democracy and individual rights. They had fought a war against the tyranny of a single monarch, but they were rightly concerned that the tyranny of the majority would do no better when it came to respect for minority rights. Fast forward to today and some see a form of this debate being replayed in two Supreme Court cases dealing with the contentious issue of gay marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act defined marriage at the federal level as between a man and a woman, while the Prop 8 ballot initiative amended the California state Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Factbox: List of states that legalized gay marriage
Gay marriage legal in all 50 US states, thanks to Supreme Court ruling
For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way. Supporters also say that same-sex couples are just as capable as heterosexual couples when it comes to getting married, living together, and raising children. On the flip side, there are people that are against gay marriage. These people may have religious beliefs that tell them this is wrong.
Here's a list of countries where same-sex marriages are legal and illegal
This article summarizes the same-sex marriage laws of states and similar jurisdictions in the United States. Via the case Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, , the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in a decision that applies nationwide, with the possible exception of American Samoa and some tribal nations. Same-sex marriages are currently licensed and recognized in all U.
May 24 marked the first day that gay and lesbian couples in Taiwan can register to marry. Countries where same-sex marriage is legal in some areas but not nationwide were excluded. To date, only 29 out of the countries in the world have legalized same-sex marriage. While many same-sex couples have no choice but to wait for legalization — some are together for decades before they are finally able to marry — in many countries, people who can choose to get married are doing so later in life. Opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage often comes from religious organizations who claim that it destroys the sanctity of marriage.