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Fight for same-sex marriage spreading across the country

Massachusetts has long been a state that has set the standard for same-sex marriage. Since it legalized same-sex marriage, several other states have followed. Proponents argue that it is a basic right that should not be denied. Since the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, litigation regarding same-sex marriage has exploded due to the hope that the unconstitutionality of bans could be successfully argued.

Currently, there are 33 states that ban same-sex marriages. Of those 33, there have been lawsuits filed in 25 of them. Proponents of same-sex marriage have seen some degree of success.

In three states, bans have been struck down by federal judges. The attorney generals of three different states have determined that laws or amendments banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional and refused to defend them in lawsuits. Only one judge has upheld a state's ban.

Those familiar with the issues surrounding same-sex marriage feel that it is a certainty that the issue will appear before the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future, arguing that there will be pressure on judges to resolve the issues. While couples in Massachusetts have long been able to marry regardless of their sexual orientation, same-sex couples continue to face complications when they travel or move to states that have do not legally recognize their marriage. The recent court activity is promising for these couples who simply wish to enjoy the same rights and privileges as couples of the opposite sex. Although the fight continues, much progress has been made in the last few years.

Source: NBC News, Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuits Exploding in U.S. Courts, Pete Williams, Feb. 21, 2014

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