In , the U. Supreme Court ruled all state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry nationwide. This timeline highlights the changes in state policies leading up to that ruling, starting in — when Utah became the first state to enact a Defense of Marriage Act DOMA. Several other states previously had approved statutes defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
In a landmark ruling issued in , the U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution allows for same-sex marriage, effectively overturning remaining restrictions in place in states. Most other states had enacted constitutional or statutory bans on same-sex marriage, known as "Defense of Marriage" Acts.
It is only fitting to end this timeline with the following quote from that decision:. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.