Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails

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Obama Hails Supreme Court's Gay Marriage Ruling


NEW YORK (AP) -- Back in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a law stipulating that the federal government would not recognize marriages between same-sex couples. On Friday night, the White House was illuminated with rainbow colors in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing such marriages in every state of the nation.

For gay-rights activists, the two decades between those moments were marked by a dramatic mix of setbacks and victories.

As recently as 2004 there was widespread despair among proponents as voters in 13 states approved constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. At that time, some activists questioned whether marriage equality was a realistic goal. Others, while wary of appearing too optimistic, suggested gay marriage might take hold by 2020.

"In that climate, it sounded ambitious and bold, but it rallied a critical mass of leaders to believe maybe it was attainable," said Evan Wolfson, president of the advocacy group Freedom to Marry that played a key role in developing the campaign's strategies.

That once audacious timetable proved to be overcautious. As more gay people came out of the closet, more of their relatives and acquaintances became supportive of gay rights. Popular television shows such as "Will and Grace" and "Modern Family" accelerated acceptance with empathetic portrayals of gay characters. Opinion polls over the past 10 years showed a huge shift in attitudes toward same-sex marriage, which is now supported by 55 to 60 percent of Americans.

Photos from the historic day:

36 PHOTOS
Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Marriage, Marriage Equality
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Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails
People celebrate during a rally outside the Stonewall Tavern in the West Village in New York on June 26, 2015, after the US Supreme Court's historic decision on same sex marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Ikeita Cantu, left, and her wife Carmen Guzman, of McLean, Va., hold up signs as they celebrate outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. The couple was married in Canada in 2009 when gay marriage was illegal in Virginia. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A couple kiss to celebrate the US Supreme Court's historic decision on same sex marriage during a rally outside the Stonewall Tavern in the West Village in New York on June 26, 2015, after the US Supreme Court's historic decision on same sex marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide, is backed by supporters of the courts ruling on same-sex marriage on the step of the Texas Capitol during a rally Monday, June 29, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Marriage equality supporters rally on the steps of the Supreme Court as they wait for a decision Friday, June 26, 2015, in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
People celebrates during a rally outside the Stonewall Tavern in the West Village in New York on June 26, 2015, after the US Supreme Court's historic decision on same sex marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Carlos McKnight of Washington, waves a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Two women celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
People celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
People run under a giant equality flag as they celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 26: Same-sex marriage supporters from the Human Rights Campaign celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide on Friday, June 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
People shout slogans as they celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama walks toward the podium before speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Activists hold signs regarding same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
From left, Annie Katz of the University of Michigan, Zaria Cummings of Michigan State University, Spencer Perry of Berkeley, Calif., and Justin Maffett of Dartmouth University, celebrate outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
People shout slogans as they celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The crowd reacts as the ruling on same-sex marriage was announced outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Same-sex marriage supporters hold rainbow flags outside the U.S. Supreme Court June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
People wave a giant equality flag in celebration outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ariel Olah of Detroit, left, and her fiancee Katie Boatman, are overcome by emotion outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2015, as the ruling on same-sex marriage was announced. The court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A man holds a rainbow flag in support of same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Carmelita Cabello, left, and her partner of 31 year, Jaque Roberts, right, arrive at the Travis County building for a marriage license after hearing the Supreme Court ruling that grants same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Lupe Garcia, left, hugs her partner Cindy Stocking, right, at the Travis County building after hearing the Supreme Court ruling that grants same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay couples nationwide have the right to marry in a 5-4 decision. How incredible it is to be here as they announced it!
It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality . . . Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. #fbf #equality #lovemustwin #freedomtomarry
People are FREAKING OUT at the Stonewall Inn! Tears, hugs, laughter. http://t.co/bC1RUfEDzk
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Participants celebrate at the San Francisco Pride Parade on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif., two days after the Supreme Court's landmark decision to require that states issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. (Adm Golub/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
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And over the past two years, a series of state and federal court rulings fueled hopes that victory was imminent.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby alluded to the public opinion shift in his December 2013 ruling striking down Utah's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. "It is not the Constitution that has changed, but the knowledge of what it means to be gay or lesbian," he wrote.

The 2004 election, which dismayed gay-rights activists at the time, "was a last rearguard effort in a losing fight," according to Tobias Barrington Wolff, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Celebrities react to the ruling on social media:

33 PHOTOS
Celebrities react to SCOTUS on social media
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Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails
Love won. #MarriageEquality
We are so proud to be American today! All of our #LGBT brothers and sisters can now love freely! TY #SupremeCourt! http://t.co/RO10N8knfj
WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL ! #gaymarriage #LoveWins #SCOTUS #KaliefBrowder
Huge day for America.. Happy to see the news. All the love
#lovewins http://t.co/xgEvPqvF63
#SCOTUS killin it this week!
#LoveWins Today is a huge step forward for our country, and my family. I'm so grateful and happy! #SCOTUSMarriage
Hugely emotional that marriage equality has finally come to the U.S. History! Love ALWAYS wins. ❤️❤️❤️
#LOVEWINS! 🌈
Today is beautiful 🇺🇸💞💍
Very happy about the SCOTUS rulings this week! Marriage Equality, Fair Housing and Affordable Health Care!
🇺🇸 GO AMERICA! http://t.co/xKv7gL0Jg8
It's a new day. Thank you Supreme Court. Thank you Justice Kennedy. Your opinion is profound, in more ways than you may know. #huzzah
i cried 🎂 #lovewins 🎂 #happybirthdaytome #proudtobeanamerican #af 🐭🌙 https://t.co/A7jZ79cHeG
#MarriageEquality for all. In honor of this historic event, here's a celebratory video from @ScottIcenogle & me. https://t.co/P5pcm2KNAe
So much more work to do but no matter how long it takes, in the end, #LOVE will always prevail. Bravo #SCOTUS #NOH8 #ChooseLove. Now go get married wherever the hell you please. ❤️🙌🏿❤️
LOVE WINS!!!!!!! WE ARE EQUAL!!!!!!!! Ps. Somebody marry me, quick!!!!!
Such an incredible day for so many 💛
Finally ❤️ #SCOTUS
#MarriageEquaility!!!! A giant step towards our country being a better place to be!
And so the long arc of history bends toward justice once more.
Supreme Court for the win!! Yes! Wonderful day! #MarriageEquaility
Wow. Another historic day for #MarriageEquality! https://t.co/rkeVQUWb6r
Love.
WE DID IT - MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS REAL
ALL 50 STATES!!!! 😭 So happy. Times are changing my friends. We have such a long way to go and so… https://t.co/lp6wDLfGmQ
Equal. http://t.co/OJLd1eEgmn
Supreme Court rules right to marriage is a "fundamental right" and same sex couples can't be deprived of that right
YESSSSS AMERICAAAAA!! 💜💛💚💙❤️💖 what a moment. #LoveWon
Now there we have it,each and every one of us entitled to the same privilege of marriage,isn't that what life is about. Thank you..finally.
I'm so happy I'm crying!!!! #LoveWins
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"The progress that followed built on victories in legislatures, victories in courts, and on the growing public consensus that there is no good reason to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens," he said in an email Saturday. "That consensus was not imposed by judges; rather, it helped to educate judges and make visible the claim of equal citizenship that the Supreme Court finally vindicated."

President Barack Obama, who endorsed gay marriage in 2012, paid tribute to the persistence of its supporters in his remarks Friday hailing the Supreme Court decision.

"Sometimes two steps forward, one step back," he said. "And then sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

The effort predates the marriage equality movement - gay rights activism surfaced in the U.S. in the 1950s with the formation of pioneering national organizations such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis. The first gay-rights protest in front of the White House took place in 1965; police harassment of patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar, sparked three days of riots in June 1969.

In the 1970s, gay activism expanded to encompass marriage.

The first lawsuit in the U.S. seeking same-sex marriage rights was filed in Minnesota by Jack Baker and Michael McConnell after a county clerk denied their application for a marriage license in 1970. On appeal, the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which dismissed it, thereby upholding Minnesota's law limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

"Finally, the Supreme Court affirmed the question we raised 44 years ago," McConnell said in an email Saturday. "I'm a patient man, but 44 years is a long time to wait for this intuitively obvious answer."

Another couple, American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan, were able obtain a marriage license from a court clerk in Colorado in 1975. But federal authorities did not recognize the marriage, and rejected Sullivan's efforts to remain in the U.S. as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. A letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service asserted that the couple "failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots."

In Hawaii, three gay couples filed suit after being denied marriage licenses in 1990, and the case dragged on for five years while a backlash materialized. Hawaii lawmakers voted in 1994 to limit marriage to unions between a man and woman, and in September 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages and said no state could be forced to recognize such marriages that might become legal in another state.

In December 1996, the three Hawaii couples won the first-ever judgment ordering a state to legalize same-sex marriage. But the judge suspended his ruling the next day to allow an appeal, and in 1998 it was rendered moot when Hawaii voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment empowering state legislators to limit marriage to heterosexual unions. Over the next two decades, 30 other states passed amendments banning gay marriage.

However, same-sex marriage began in Massachusetts in 2004 under an order from the state's high court, and soon legislators and voters in other states were legalizing it without court pressure. At the time of Friday's Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriages were allowed in 36 states.

Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said the court victory "is that much sweeter" because it results from decades of activism and perseverance.

Politicians react to the ruling on Twitter:

18 PHOTOS
Twitter reactions: SCOTUS legalizes same sex marriage
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Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
This is a piece of writing. http://t.co/tlDKhd03HF
We’re on board. Diversity strengthens us all & today we celebrate #MarriageEquality & the landmark #SCOTUS decision. http://t.co/gqej2xMzIU
It's about time! Let's celebrate #LGBT #pride! http://t.co/JzNZNKsQ8U #SCOTUSMarriage #MAKERSPride
Proud. http://t.co/9J44PCYeuQ
My thoughts on today's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage: http://t.co/fd4nzBmUBl
The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to gay marriage http://t.co/x07L3wSh5H http://t.co/IECRwq30k1
Love won. #MarriageEquality
Hugely emotional that marriage equality has finally come to the U.S. History! Love ALWAYS wins. ❤️❤️❤️
#LoveWins. http://t.co/s5aiwIsFz8
🌈🎉💗
BREAKING: THE SUPREME COURT ENDS SAME_SEX MARRIAGE BANS NATIONWIDE. #SCOTUS
Love is Love ❤️💚💜💙💛🌈 http://t.co/IHRaQKd36z
http://t.co/BCW7S5OK94
Basic. Human. Rights. http://t.co/jC5mYJGBza http://t.co/OImfLkTGhM
BREAKING: Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide: http://t.co/HFfzH2jpma http://t.co/fxUsejalNO
Huge day for America.. Happy to see the news. All the love
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"When I graduated from high school in 1986, a very different Supreme Court decision (upholding state anti-sodomy laws) sent me a very different message: lesbians and gay men were outlaws, and unworthy," Byard said. "May this decision resound as powerfully for youth graduating today and for years to come - may it help to undo the stigma and undermine the violence leveled against LGBT people."

Among opponents, there was some amazement at how quickly gay marriage had become the law of the land.

"How did we reach a point where an institution older than recorded history could be redefined and altered by an idea unknown before the year 2000?" asked Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Many gay-rights leaders, while celebrating the high court ruling, said major challenges remain for their movement. A top priority is passage of a comprehensive federal law that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"We now have to work harder than ever before to make sure LGBT Americans cannot be fired, evicted or denied services simply on the basis of the marriage license that they fought so hard to achieve," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

While Griffin's group will press ahead with a revised list of priorities, Evan Wolfson's Freedom to Marry plans to phase itself out of business now that its cause has prevailed.

Wolfson said he found himself crying tears of joy as he read Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion and reflected on the many gay couples over the decades who had joined the battle for marriage equality.

"That underscores how long a struggle this has been before we got to the thunderbolt of justice," Wolfson said. "I can understand why people see it as happening fast - but this overnight triumph is more than four decades in the making. That's what it took."

Photos of the reaction to SCOTUS' ruling:

44 PHOTOS
Supreme Court same-sex marriage arguments, gay marriage
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Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: A gay marriage waves a flag in front of the Supreme Court Building June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court is expected rule in the next few days on whether states can prohibit same sex marriage, as 13 states currently do. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Supporters for and against gay marriage gather in front of the Supreme Court Building June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court is expected rule in the next few days on whether states can prohibit same sex marriage, as 13 states currently do. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Television crews set up outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Carlos McKnight, 17, of Washington, left, and Katherine Nicole Struck, 25, of Frederick, Md., hold flags in support of gay marriage as security walks behind outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jonathan Contreras, left, and Bonnie Casillas hold balloons that spelled out "love" in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday June 25, 2015. The court is expected to hand down decisions today. Two major opinions, health care and gay marriage, are among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Supporters of same-sex marriages cheer outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Supporters for and against gay marriage gather in front of the Supreme Court Building June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court is expected rule in the next few days on whether states can prohibit same sex marriage, as 13 states currently do. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
People begin to enter the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Carlos McKnight of Washington, waves a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Plaintiff Rev. Maurice Blanchard, of Louisville, Ky., makes heart with his hands behind plaintiff plaintiff James Obergefell of Ohio, right, as they stand outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, following a hearing on same-sex marriages. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Shelly Bailes, 74, left, and her wife Ellen Pontac, 73, both of Davis, Calif., kiss in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Demonstrators hold up a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: A couple poses for a photo near the Supreme Court, April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, with decisions expected in June. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Map shows status of gay marriage in the states; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Opponents of same-sex marriage demonstrate near the Supreme Court, April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. On Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, with decisions expected in June. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Pro and anti-gay rights protest outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Pro and anti-gay rights protest outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Plaintiffs John Espejo, left, and his husband Matthew Mansell, of Franklin, Tenn., prepare to enter the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Joe Capley-Alfano, center, and his husband Frank Capley-Alfano, who've been together 15 years and married seven, hold an American flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Diane Olson, left, and her wife Robin Tyler, of Los Angeles, show off their number 1 ticket for the first in-line for a seat in the Supreme Court while waiting to enter the court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Equality flags fly in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Protesters hold pro-gay rights signs outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Supporters of same-sex marriages gather outside the US Supreme Court waiting for its decision on April 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether gay couples have a constitutional right to wed -- a potentially historic decision that could see same-sex marriage recognized nationwide. (Photo credit Mladen Antonov, AFP/Getty Images)
A rainbow colored flag, seen through an American flag, flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015, as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Plaintiff James Obergefell speaks about his case before tomorrow's arguments at the US Supreme Court April 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. Tomorrow the high court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, that will ultimately decide whether states will still be allowed to ban same sex marriage and refuse to recognize the rights of couples married in other states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin (R) speaks about Plaintiff's James Obergefell (L) case before tomorrow's arguments at the US Supreme Court April 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. Tomorrow the high court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, that will ultimately decide whether states will still be allowed to ban same sex marriage and refuse to recognize the rights of couples married in other states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Anti-gay marriage protesters gather in front of the US Supreme Court Building April 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court is scheduled to hear arguments April 28, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, that will ultimately decide whether states will still be allowed to ban same sex marriage and refuse to recognize the rights of couples married in other states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
People camp on the sidewalk outside the US Supreme Court April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC, to attend the April 28, 2015, US Supreme Court session regarding gay marriage. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J.RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters hold a pro-gay rights flag outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, countering the demonstrators who attended the March For Marriage in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Participants in the March For Marriage protest outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the DC Sisters, the Abbey of Magnificent Intentions, wait for protesters from the March For Marriage outside the US Supreme Court April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters in the March For Marriage arrive outside the US Supreme Court April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
A Supreme Court Police Officer approaches a protester wearing a Michelle Obama mask, in a area not allowed for protesters, as the March For Marriage goes on outside the US Supreme Court April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators with Official Street Preachers hold up anti-homosexual placards in front of the White House in Washington, DC, April 26, 2015. The lengthy fight to allow gay marriage across America may soon be at an end with the Supreme Court set April 28 to consider whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed. Already legal in 37 of the country's 50 states and in the capital Washington, experts say it seems inevitable that the nation's top court will recognize gay marriage. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign President, and Jim Obergefell, right, are photographed outside the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign on Monday, April 27, 2015 in Washington. Obergefell is the named plaintiff in the marriage equality case before the Supreme Court. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
An American flag and a rainbow colored flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015, as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Sean Varsho, 28, of Chicago, left, and Brandon Dawson, 26, of Warrenton Va., have been waiting in line for the past three days for a seat for Tuesday's Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Washington. The opponents of same-sex marriage are urging the court to resist embracing what they see as a radical change in society's view of what constitutes marriage. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Pro-gay rights protesters kiss outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Protesters hold pro-gay rights flags outside the US Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Map shows states with laws allowing same-sex marriage

(Photo credit: Associated Press)

The flag flies in the wind in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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