Human Rights

Marriage Equality: Is Same Sex Marriage Legal In All States?

is same sex marriage legal in all states

We strive to be ourselves unapologetically. Gender, skin color, body type- we are proud owners of it all. But does that ever make you wonder why gay rights still do not enjoy the same recognition as other rights? For instance, is same sex marriage legal in all states?

We are still not sure. However, our questions are valid because LGBTQ rights are all the more important right now. Hate crimes are on the rise. The need for diversity is the need, now more than ever. 

In this article we discuss the pressing question, 

“Is Same Sex Marriage Legal In All States?”

Additionally, we will take a holistic approach to what gay rights the citizens of the United States enjoy right now. 

So, without much dilly-dallying, let us jump right in!

What Is Same Sex Marriage?

What Is Same Sex Marriage?

Laws play an important role in fostering and executing equal LGBTQ rights in the community. We know that same sex marriage was not how marriage went conventionally. The concept of same sex marriage goes against the traditional norms and religious scriptures of the world.

Is same sex marriage legal in all states? Before we answer this question, let us find out what sane sex marriage means.

Same-sex marriage is just marriage between two individuals of the same gender. A marriage on the other hand, is a legal union between two people.

In a same sex marriage, the people of the same gender enter into a recognized partnership.  They share the same rights and responsibilities as that of an opposite-sex married couple.  

The concept of a same sex marriage has been the subject of a long-standing debate. It has the same arguments that stand in case of homosexuality and same sex relationships.

Is Being Gay A Choice?

This is an extremely important question when dealing with the subject of same sex marriage. 5-10% of the population experience sexual attraction in their own sex. Many research studies say that the reasons for being gay can be psychological and physiological.

However, from a legal standing, why does the choice or non-choice matter? If an adult is attracted to someone and wants to marry them, then why not? After all, your gender identity or fluidity is your choice and decision.

Thus, this is exactly why marriage equality matters the most. It is a question of equal rights, rather than holding on to traditions.

When Was Gay Marriage Legalized In The US?

When Was Gay Marriage Legalized In The US?

Is same sex marriage legal in all states? Gay marriage and same sex marriage got legal recognition in the United States in the year 2004. Not that long ago, right?

However, the road to recognition was surely not easy. It included court decisions, state laws, and public votes. Massachusetts was the first state to pave the way. The state laws legalized it in 2004.  Since then, it has been quite the journey.

What Laws Were Against Same Sex Recognition?

The Defense of Marriage Act has been in force since 1996. Section 2 of the Act states that there is no need for any state to recognize same-sex relationships.  Moreover, Section 3 of the Act defined marriage as a man and woman’s union.

Is Same Sex Marriage Legal In All States?

Over the years, the acceptance of same sex marriage spread across the nation.

By 2015, all fifty states acknowledged it. It was the result of a series of court rulings, state law changes, and public orders. Next, a significant milestone came with the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision.

The Obergefell v. Hodges decision came on June 26, 2015. This ruling declared the legality of same sex marriage. Moreover, it also took down the remaining barriers. Thus, this was the era of inclusivity. Equal and fair rights were now present for all same sex couples in the United States.

First Battle Cry With DOMA Being Struck Down

The DOMA received formal challenges through multiple lawsuits in July 2010. Thus, Joseph Tauro, Judge in the District Court, Massachusetts, passed a verdict. He held DOMA’s denial of rights to lawfully married same sex couples to be unconstitutional.  

Therefore, those sections of the Act were no longer valid under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution of the USA.

Federal courts clearly declared DOMA’s Section 3 to be unconstitutional. In all matters of bankruptcy, estate taxes, public employee benefits, and immigration, this Act would not withstand.

Is Same Sex Marriage Is Legal In All 50 States?

Is same sex marriage legal in all states?

Yes, absolutely. As of 2023, same-sex marriage has federal recognition across all 50 states in the United States. Earlier, there were a lot of legal issues around the topic of same sex marriage. The Federal Government of the US decided the laws governing marital status.

Before 1996 the Federal government had no particular definition of marriage. All marriages enjoyed recognition.

Before 2004 there was no recognition of same sex marriage under any jurisdiction. Slowly legislative and court rulings took place. Referendums started happening. The government accountability office gives over 1130 Federal rights and protections upon marriage. A married couple can enjoy the following. 

  • social security benefits,
  • medical insurance,
  • tax benefits
  • pensions
  • family leave
  • Retirement savings
  • Wills and estate benefits
  • much more.

Since 2015 all same sex married couples have enjoyed equal access to these benefits.

Final Word

Is same sex marriage legal in all states? Well, yes, it is. Now that we reached the end to our article, let us do a quick recap.

In the popular case of Windsor v. United States, the Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, made history. It was the first court that declared sexual orientation to be a quasi- suspect classification.

After the Court’s Windsor decision in 2013, married couples of the same sex received federal benefits. No matter which state they live in, this rule applies.

The benefits are numerous. There are tax benefits under this that are of a federal nature. So, it allows the couple to file income tax returns together.

Additionally, they receive military benefits, federal employment benefits, and immigration benefits.

In 2014’s February, the US Justice Department ordered the recognition of same-sex married couples. It would now include more rights for the couples. These rights relate to bankruptcies, benefits of prison visits. Moreover, they also enjoy survivor benefits and spousal testimony protection.

Additionally, according to June 2014, same sex couples can apply for family medical leave benefits.  Thus, this leads to recognition under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Therefore, same sex marriage enjoys equal rights, recognition, and liabilities in the United States.

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