Six months ago today, in a historic 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with loving, committed same-sex couples and made marriage equality the law of the land. The Court found bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional.
The road to marriage equality was not easy. Dozens of cases were filed in court and same-sex plaintiff couples across the nation put their privacy on the line. State-by-state, groups of people organized campaigns in favor of marriage equality. Their efforts raised awareness of LGBT issues and even brought marriage equality to a vote on several occasions. It didn’t just take years. It took decades to make this hard work become a reality.
While June 26, 2015, will remain a special day for many, there were other pivotal points in the movement. In 2013, the Supreme Court heard two other historic marriage equality cases: United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. Prior to the decision this year, we celebrated state-by-state as each state gained marriage equality.
Nationwide marriage equality ensures that same-sex couples are recognized on the state level for tax purposes, healthcare decision-making, and inheritance determinations. On the federal level, these couples gain access to critical lifeline benefits like Social Security and veteran’s spousal benefits– programs that have remained out of reach for couples living in states that do not recognize their marriage.
Thanks to tireless efforts of so many LGBT people and allies, we have helped change the minds and hearts of citizens around the country and bolstered unprecedented support for marriage equality. It wouldn’t have happened without and your support.
Counting down to 2016, HRC is celebrating our greatest milestones and victories in 2015. It has been another incredible year for LGBT equality and we could not have done it without you — our members, readers and supporters–and we look forward to continuing our work in 2016. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2015.