5 Important Facts About Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is when two people of the same sex or gender enter into a civil or ceremonial union. This has been a controversial topic for decades. Is same-sex marriage legal in the United States? Here are five important facts you should know about same-sex marriage in the United States.

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1. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

2. Obergefell v. Hodges is a landmark Supreme Court case decided on June 26, 2015. The case guarantees same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry. It requires states to give marriage licenses to couples of the same sex that apply, and it requires states to recognize marriages between two people of the same sex when the marriage is recognized in another state.

3. Irion County in Texas is the only purported county that refuses to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated county clerks, judges, and justices of the peace can deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples for religious reasons. Since Obergefell, no same-sex couple has applied for a marriage license in Irion County. Thus, whether Irion County will issue marriage licenses to couples of the same-sex is still uncertain.

4. Eight Alabama counties have circumvented Obergefell by not issuing marriage licenses to all.

5. Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all U.S territories, issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while American Samoa, also a U.S. territory, does not.

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