In the United States, marriage laws is the responsibility of the state government, which was confirmed by the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which became unconstitutional in June 2013.
Gay marriage legalization is one of the most sensitive topics in the political life of the United States. Several politicians have advocated a federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, especially after Baehr v. Miike decision in 1993. On 26 June 2013 the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. 94 million Americans now live in one of the thirteen states, plus the Federal District, recognizing the equal marriage.
In 2004, 62 % of Americans were in favor of the recognition of a legal status of same-sex unions (marriage or civil union). More specifically, in 2008, when 52 % of Americans were opposed to gay marriage itself, there was 29% of them who totally opposed to any recognition of legal status to homosexual unions. Under President George W. Bush, the assumption that a constitutional amendment could limit marriage to couples of different sexes was mentioned, but the procedure proved complex, requiring qualified majorities and ratifications by state legislatures not to mention the fact that the subject also divided Republican Party.
Thus, Mary Cheney, lesbian herself and youngest daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney expressed her opposition to this event on Fox News, close to Republican circles. She declared that the amendment on gay marriage is a way to return the principles of discrimination in the Constitution. The George W. Bush successor, Democrat Barack Obama said during his campaign of 2008 to be in favor of gay civil unions but not gay marriage, but in 2010, he said that his position “evolves.” In May 2012, at the beginning of his campaign for re-election, Obama ruled in favor of gay marriage legalization. During 2004, a number of counties and municipalities (including San Francisco under the mandate of Mayor Gavin Newsom and Portland) have begun to solemnize same-sex marriages against the wishes of the governments of their states. Legal results varied but most of these actions were canceled by subsequent court decisions.
The gay marriages were approved legal at June 28, 2013 in 13 states (California, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, and Maryland) and the District of Columbia.
Civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal in seven states (Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Nevada, and Wisconsin). The marriages made in California in 2008 are still recognized. California allows gay marriage again since 28 June 2013.
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