On June 26, , the U. The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, including in the 14 states that did not previously allow gays and lesbians to wed. As we approach the fourth anniversary of the ruling, here are five key facts about same-sex marriage:. Around four-in-ten U. But views are largely unchanged over the last few years.
Same-sex marriage , the practice of marriage between two men or between two women. Although same-sex marriage has been regulated through law, religion, and custom in most countries of the world, the legal and social responses have ranged from celebration on the one hand to criminalization on the other. Some scholars, most notably the Yale professor and historian John Boswell —94 , have argued that same-sex unions were recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in medieval Europe, although others have disputed this claim. Scholars and the general public became increasingly interested in the issue during the late 20th century, a period when attitudes toward homosexuality and laws regulating homosexual behaviour were liberalized, particularly in western Europe and the United States. The issue of same-sex marriage frequently sparked emotional and political clashes between supporters and opponents. By the early 21st century, several jurisdictions, both at the national and subnational levels, had legalized same-sex marriage; in other jurisdictions, constitutional measures were adopted to prevent same-sex marriages from being sanctioned, or laws were enacted that refused to recognize such marriages performed elsewhere. That the same act was evaluated so differently by various groups indicates its importance as a social issue in the early 21st century; it also demonstrates the extent to which cultural diversity persisted both within and among countries.
Gay sex is no longer as widely criminalized as it used to be, but a total of 72 nations still have laws against it. That was the year when the global rights group began documenting the laws that are used to persecute LGBT people. Indonesia , where a large province and some cities outlaw homosexual acts.
Nearly two dozen governments around the world have introduced legislation allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The majority of these are in Europe and the Americas. Ireland made headlines in May after becoming the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage through a popular vote. More than 62 percent voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in the country. Greenland's parliament has also unanimously approved same-sex marriage and adoption.