How The United States Achieved Full Marriage Equality

Published July 26, 2015
Updated July 24, 2015
Published July 26, 2015
Updated July 24, 2015
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While many have hailed the recent United States Supreme Court ruling that struck down state bans on same sex marriage as a highly consequential–and progressive–moment in our national history, the reality is that it came about after a series of conservative moves on behalf of the court.

As seen in the map above, SCOTUS–in a decidedly restrained fashion–chose to toss back the question of gay marriage to individual states until that approach was no longer viable. After all, one cannot lose rights or recognition just because they move to a different state.

So while many on the right lamented the court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling and condemned it for being a prime example of pernicious “judicial activism,” remember that such activism–if it can be called that–came after a series of conservative decisions were proven to be ineffective and incompatible with the US Constitution.

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