Gay marriages have been legalized in nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia on November 7, 2012. Thirty-one states have Constitutional amendments banning gay marriages, and six states legally ban gay marriages.
Fact 1. Proponents of gay marriages say that prohibiting gay marriage is unconstitutional discrimination and that same-sex couples should have equal rights as heterosexual couples.
Fact 2. Opponents of gay marriages are of the opinion that such institutions alter the traditional definition of marriage as it will not only weaken the institution of marriage between heterosexual couples but could also lead to polygamous marriages.
Fact 3. The source of the gay movement can be traced to the Stonewall Riots that happened at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969 when gay patrons fought back against a police raid. Between 1969 and 1974, the number of gay organizations in the U.S. has increased from 50 to an estimated 1,000.
Fact 4. In the 1970s, gay-rights activism focused more on personal liberation and visibility than on legalization of gay marriages.
Fact 5. California has the distinction of having played a prominent role in the debate on gay marriages. On February 15, 2004 the city began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as ordered by the mayor. Between May and November of 2008, an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in California.
Fact 6. On July 19, 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would support a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This preceded President Obama’s decision on February 23, 2011 to stop defending DOMA as it violates the equal protection segment of the Fifth Amendment.
Fact 7. On May 9, 2012, President Obama declared support for gay marriages by stating, ‘At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.’
Fact 8. Vietnam is considering legalizing same-sex marriage, a first for an Asian country.
Fact 9. The issue of gay sex-marriage infringes upon societal and individual interpretations of standards, and the debate from both sides is based upon religious texts and the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
Fact 10. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 census reported 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the U.S.