|National Freedom to Marry Day|
|Next time||12 February 2019|
National Freedom to Marry Day is a non-official United States holiday held annually on February 12 to promote same-sex marriage. The holiday was founded in 1999 by Lambda Legal, a gay rights advocacy law firm based out of Washington, DC.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Same-sex marriage is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, better known as Lambda Legal, is an American civil rights organization that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities as well as people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) through impact litigation, societal education, and public policy work.
The most notable National Freedom to Marry Day was February 12, 2004 when, following a directive from San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to his county clerk, the City and County of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On February 10, Newsom asked the clerk's office to make the changes on the "forms and documents used to apply for and issue marriage licenses…in order to provide [them] on a non –discriminatory basis."
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
Gavin Christopher Newsom is an American politician and businessman. He is the 40th governor of California, serving since January 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 49th lieutenant governor of California from 2011 to 2019 and as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. He was sworn in as Governor of California on January 7, 2019.
A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time. Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal.
Dorothy Louise Taliaferro "Del" Martin and Phyllis Ann Lyon were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay-rights activists.
This is a list of notable events in the history of LGBT rights that took place in the year 2004.
Freedom to Marry was the national bipartisan organization dedicated to winning marriage for same-sex couples in the United States. Freedom to Marry was founded in New York City in 2003 by Evan Wolfson. Wolfson served as president of the organization through the June 2015 victory at the Supreme Court, until the organization's official closing in February 2016.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. state of California, and first became so on June 16, 2008, when the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as the result of the Supreme Court of California ruling in In re Marriage Cases, which found that barring same-sex couples from marriage violated the state's Constitution. The issuance of those licenses was halted during the period of November 5, 2008 through June 27, 2013 due to the passage of Proposition 8—a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages. The granting of same-sex marriages recommenced following the United States Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which restored the effect of a federal district court ruling that overturned Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.
The San Francisco 2004 same-sex weddings took place between February 11 and March 11, 2004, after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom directed the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and a number of interest groups sued to end the practice. About 4,000 such licenses were issued before the California Supreme Court ordered a halt to the practice on March 11. On August 12, 2004, the California Supreme Court voided all of the licenses that had been issued in February and March.
The 2007 San Francisco mayoral election occurred on November 6, 2007. Voters elected a Mayor of San Francisco and several local officials. Incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom was re-elected by a good margin. There were 12 candidates on the ballot as well as 6 write-ins.
Davina Kotulski, Ph.D., born on January 22, 1970, is a clinical psychologist, public speaker, life coach, writer and notable, long-time same-sex marriage activist and leader in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights movement. Kotulski began publicly advocating for same-sex marriage in 1999. Kotulski is the author of Why You Should give a Damn About Gay Marriage and "Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why it Will Prevail".
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S state of Iowa since a decision of the Iowa Supreme Court on April 3, 2009. Marriage licenses became available to same-sex couples on April 27.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of Illinois since a law signed by Governor Pat Quinn on November 20, 2013 took effect on June 1, 2014.
Same-sex marriage became legally recognized statewide in the U.S. state of New Mexico through a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court on December 19, 2013, requiring all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to qualified couples seeking marriage regardless of gender. Until then, same-sex couples could only obtain marriage licenses in certain counties of the state. Eight of the 33 counties, covering 58% of the state's population, had begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in August and September 2013. New Mexico's marriage statute is not specific as to gender. It is the only state lacking a state statute or constitutional provision explicitly addressing same-sex marriage. Lacking a state law or judicial ruling concerning same-sex marriage prior to December 19, 2013, policy for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was determined at the county level at the discretion of local issuing authorities i.e., some counties recognized same-sex marriage and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while others did not. Despite the ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages in the state, some of New Mexico's Native American tribes continue to prohibit same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions and do not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
In re Marriage Cases, 183 P.3d 384 was a California Supreme Court case where the court held that laws treating classes of persons differently based on sexual orientation should be subject to strict judicial scrutiny, and that an existing statute and initiative measure limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate the rights of same-sex couples under the California Constitution and may not be used to preclude them from marrying.
Proposition 8, known informally as Prop 8, was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance of the California Supreme Court's May 2008 appeal ruling, In re Marriage Cases, which followed the short-lived 2004 same-sex weddings controversy and found the previous ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2010, although the court decision did not go into effect until June 26, 2013, following the conclusion of proponents' appeals.
The Mayoralty of Gavin Newsom began when Democrat Gavin Newsom was elected Mayor of San Francisco in 2003, succeeding Willie Brown and becoming San Francisco's youngest mayor in a century.
Hollingsworth v. Perry were a series of United States federal court cases that legalized same-sex marriage in the State of California. The case began in 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which found that banning same-sex marriage violates equal protection under the law. This decision overturned ballot initiative Proposition 8, which had banned same-sex marriage. After the State of California refused to defend Proposition 8, the official sponsors of Proposition 8 intervened and appealed to the Supreme Court. The case was litigated during the governorships of both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, and was thus known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Perry v. Brown, respectively. As Hollingsworth v. Perry, it eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, which held that, in line with prior precedent, the official sponsors of a ballot initiative measure did not have Article III standing to appeal an adverse federal court ruling when the state refused to do so.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Kentucky is legal under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision, which struck down Kentucky's statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriages, was handed down on June 26, 2015, and Governor Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway announced almost immediately that the court's order would be implemented.
The history of same-sex marriage in the United States dates from the early 1970s, when the first lawsuits seeking legal recognition of same-sex relationships brought the question of civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples to public attention though they proved unsuccessful. The subject became increasingly prominent in U.S. politics following the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court decision in Baehr v. Miike that suggested the possibility that the state's prohibition might be unconstitutional. That decision was met by actions at both the federal and state level to restrict marriage to male-female couples, notably the enactment at the federal level of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Kimberly Jean Davis was a former county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky who gained international attention in August 2015 when she defied a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was defeated by Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. in the November 6, 2018 election and vacated the office on January 7, 2019.
Clela Rorex issued the first same-sex marriage license in the United States. Serving as the Boulder County Clerk, Rorex issued a marriage license to a gay couple in 1975 after receiving approval from the District Attorney.
Evan Wolfson is an attorney and gay rights advocate. He is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a group favoring same-sex marriage in the United States. Wolfson authored the book Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry, which Time Out New York magazine called, "Perhaps the most important gay-marriage primer ever written..." He was listed as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, Rutgers Law School, and Whittier Law School and argued before the Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.
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