A History Lesson: Gay Marriage Timeline (in the US)

A History Lesson – the timeline of gay marriage in the US

  • November 18, 2003: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court gives the state legislature 180 days to enact same-sex marriage. 
  • February 11, 2004: The Massachusetts General Court (legislature) completes the first step in a process that would ban same-sex marriage. The process is not continued. 
  • February 12 – March 11, 2004: The Mayor San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, orders City Hall to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
  • May 17, 2004: Same-sex marriage starts in Massachusetts. 
  • August 12, 2004: The California Supreme Court rules that the San Francisco marriages are void. 
  • September 29, 2005: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a same-sex marriage bill that was approved by the legislature.. 
  • October 12, 2007: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes same-sex marriage bill that was approved by the legislature. 
  • May 15, 2008: The Supreme Court of California overturns the state's ban on same-sex marriage. 
  • June 16, 2008: Same-sex marriage starts in California. 
  • September 10, 2008: HB436, a bill that seeks to "eliminates the exclusion of same gender couples from marriage", is submitted to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 
  • October 10, 2008: The Supreme Court of Connecticut orders same-sex marriage legalized. 
  • November 4, 2008: California voters pass Proposition 8, amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. 
  • November 5, 2008: Proposition 8 takes effect in California, stopping new same-sex marriage licenses from being issued after this date. 
  • November 12, 2008: Same-sex marriage starts in Connecticut. 
  • March 26, 2009: HB436 supporting same-sex marriage passes the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 
  • April 3, 2009: The Iowa Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. 
  • April 6, 2009: A same-sex marriage bill is passed by the Vermont General Assembly and then vetoed by the governor. 
  • April 7, 2009: The Vermont General Assembly overrides the governor's veto of the same-sex marriage bill. 
  • b Connecticut governor signs legislation which statutorily legalizes same-sex marriage (see Oct. 10 and Nov. 12, 2008), and also converts any existing civil unions into marriages as of October 1, 2010. 
  • April 27, 2009: Same-sex marriage starts in Iowa. 
  • April 29, 2009: HB436 supporting same-sex marriage passes the New Hampshire Senate with minor amendments. 
  • May 6, 2009: Maine Governor Baldacci signs Marriage Equality Bill. The New Hampshire House of Representatives concurs with the Senate's amendments to HB436, and the bill supporting same-sex marriage advances to Governor John Lynch. 
  • May 12, 2009: A same-sex marriage bill passes in the lower house New York Assembly. 
  • May 26, 2009: The California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8, but also upholds the marriage rights of the 18,000 same-sex couples married while same-sex marriage had been briefly legalized. 
  • June 3, 2009: The New Hampshire General Court passes new HB73, which includes protections for religious institutions, as required by Gov. John Lynch to secure his signature on HB436, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Gov. Lynch signs both bills the same day. 
  • September 1, 2009: Same-sex marriage starts Vermont. 
  • September 14, 2009: Same-sex marriage was scheduled to start in Maine, but was put on hold because enough signatures were collected to make this a ballot initiative. 
  • November 3, 2009:  Voters in Maine voted down gay marriage, therefore nullifying the law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.
  • December 15, 2009:  The DC Council voted to legalize gay marriage and the bill was signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty three days later.
  • January 1, 2010: Same-sex marriage starts in New Hampshire.
What's the status of gay marriage where you live?

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