Same-sex marriage in the United States
Same-sex marriage is currently recognized in several areas of the United States. As of January 2014, same-sex marriage is legal in seventeen states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii Illinois Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. It is also legal in Washington, D.C.. The practice is not allowed in four states by statute and in 29 others through state constitution.
The movement to give marriage rights and benefits to homosexual couples in the United States began in the 1970s. It grew in United States politics around 1993 when the Supreme Court of Hawaii declared the prohibition in that state to be unconstitutional. It was not until around the 21st century that public support for same-sex marriage began growing. On May 9, 2012, Barack Obama was the first President to declare public support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. And on 26 June 2013 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional (see United States v. Windsor). That section prevented the federal government from recognizing marriages other than marriages between one man and one woman.