Public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States has shifted rapidly since polling of the American people regarding the issue first began on an occasional basis in the 1980s and a regular basis in the 1990s, with support having consistently risen while opposition has continually fallen. National support rose above 50% for the first time in 2011 and has not gone below that mark since then. National support rose to 60% for the first time in 2015 and has not gone below that mark since then. Support continues to rise while opposition continues to fall each year, driven in large part by a significant generational gap in support.[182]


Definition An umbrella term that refers to those with identities that cross over, move between, or otherwise challenge the socially constructed border between the genders. While this can include medical or social transition, it may not. A term referring to a person who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth and wishes, whether successful or not, to realign their gender and their sex through use of medical intervention.
In 2003 Baker was again commissioned to produce a giant flag. In this case it marked the 25th anniversary of the flag itself. Dubbed "25Rainbow Sea to Sea" the project entailed Baker again working with teams of volunteers but this flag utilized the original eight colors and measured one and a quarter miles (2.0 km) across Key West, Florida, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. The flag was again cut up afterward, and sections sent to over a hundred cities worldwide.
An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities. Still preferred by some people who have permanently changed - or seek to change - their bodies through medical interventions, including but not limited to hormones and/or surgeries. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. It is best to ask which term a person prefers. If preferred, use as an adjective: transsexual woman or transsexual man.

By late 2014, same-sex marriage had become legal in states that contained more than 70% of the United States population. In some jurisdictions legalization came through the action of state courts or the enactment of state legislation. More frequently it came as the result of the decisions of federal courts. On November 6, 2012, Maine, Maryland, and Washington became the first states to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in the District of Columbia and 21 Native American tribal jurisdictions as well.


In late 2017, a Bulgarian same-sex couple, who married in the United Kingdom, filed a lawsuit in order to have their marriage recognised.[366] The Sofia Administrative Court ruled against them in January 2018.[367] A Sofia court granted a same-sex couple the right to live in Bulgaria on 29 June 2018. The couple, an Australian woman and her French spouse, had married in France in 2016, but were denied residency in Bulgaria a year later when they attempted to move there.[368]

Legalizing gay marriage often leads to an end to domestic partnership benefits for gay and straight couples, which disadvantages couples who choose not to get married. Maryland ended health insurance benefits for new domestic partnerships after same-sex marriage became legal in the state in 2013. [124] [135] The state of Washington automatically converted domestic partnerships to marriages when they legalized gay marriage in 2012, providing no option to retain domestic partnerships or civil unions unless one partner is at least 62 years old. [134] [123] The US Defense Department announced in Aug. 2013 that it would grant health insurance and other benefits to same-sex married partners of US troops, but that domestic partners would no longer be granted the same benefits. [125] The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of Labor recognized same-sex married couples for the purpose of granting tax, retirement, and health insurance benefits after the US Supreme Court declared part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in 2013, but they did not include domestic partnerships or civil unions. [126]


The concepts of gender identity and transgender identity differ from that of sexual orientation.[68] Sexual orientation describes an individual's enduring physical, romantic, emotional, or spiritual attraction to another person, while gender identity is one's personal sense of being a man or a woman.[32] Transgender people have more or less the same variety of sexual orientations as cisgender people.[69] In the past, the terms homosexual and heterosexual were incorrectly used to label transgender individuals' sexual orientation based on their birth sex.[70] Professional literature now uses terms such as attracted to men (androphilic), attracted to women (gynephilic), attracted to both (bisexual) or attracted to neither (asexual) to describe a person's sexual orientation without reference to their gender identity.[71] Therapists are coming to understand the necessity of using terms with respect to their clients' gender identities and preferences.[72] For example, a person who is assigned male at birth, transitions to female, and is attracted to men would be identified as heterosexual.
A study of nationwide data from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in approximately 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States. The United States is the most populous country in the world to have established same-sex marriage nationwide.
Journalist Gail Mathabane likens prohibitions on same-sex marriage to past prohibitions on interracial marriage in the United States.[89] Author Fernando Espuelas argues that same-sex marriage should be allowed because it recognizes the civil right of a minority.[90] Historian Nancy Cott rejects alternatives to same-sex marriage (such as civil unions), reasoning that "there really is no comparison, because there is nothing that is like marriage except marriage."[91]
August 4, 2010 June 28, 2013 Federal court decision → legislative statute U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, finding Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Stayed during appeal, affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as Perry v. Brown. Certiorari granted and appealed as Hollingsworth v. Perry to the U.S. Supreme Court; the high court dismissed Hollingsworth for lack of standing and vacated the Ninth Circuit decision below, resulting with the original decision in Perry left intact.[60] Gender-neutral marriage bill passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor of California took effect on January 1, 2015.[61]
Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography (1928) is an early example of bisexuality in literature. The story, of a man who changes into a woman without a second thought, was based on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West. Woolf used the gender switch to avoid the book being banned for homosexual content. The pronouns switch from male to female as Orlando's gender changes. Woolf's lack of definite pronouns allows for ambiguity and lack of emphasis on gender labels.[106] Her 1925 book Mrs Dalloway focused on a bisexual man and a bisexual woman in sexually unfulfilled heterosexual marriages in later life. Following Sackille-West's death, her son Nigel Nicolson published Portrait of a Marriage, one of her diaries recounting her affair with a woman during her marriage to Harold Nicolson. Other early examples include works of D.H. Lawrence, such as Women in Love (1920), and Colette's Claudine (1900–1903) series.
In 2007, following international pressure, a Pride Parade was held once again in Riga with 4,500 people parading around Vērmane Garden, protected physically from "No Pride" protesters by 1,500 Latvian police, with ringing the inside and the outside of the iron railings of the park. Two fire crackers were detonated with one being thrown from outside at the end of the festival as participants were moving off to the buses. A man and his son were afterwards arrested by the police.[79] This caused some alarm but no injury, although participants did have to run the gauntlet of "No Pride" abuse as they ran to the buses. They were driven to a railway station on the outskirts of Riga, from where they went to a post Pride "relax" at the seaside resort of Jūrmala. Participants included MEPs, Amnesty International observers and random individuals who travelled from abroad to support LGBT Latvians and their friends and families.
In the Roman army of the Republic, sex among fellow soldiers violated the decorum against intercourse with citizens and was subject to harsh penalties, including death,[41] as a violation of military discipline.[42] The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century BC) lists deserters, thieves, perjurers, and "those who in youth have abused their persons" as subject to the fustuarium, clubbing to death.[43] Ancient sources are most concerned with the effects of sexual harassment by officers, but the young soldier who brought an accusation against his superior needed to show that he had not willingly taken the passive role or prostituted himself.[44] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[45] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[46] By the late Republic and throughout the Imperial period, there is increasing evidence that men whose lifestyle marked them as "homosexual" in the modern sense served openly.[47]
In August 2016, a lawyer in El Salvador filed a lawsuit before the country's Supreme Court asking for the nullification of Article 11 of the Family Code which defines marriage as a heterosexual union. Labeling the law as discriminatory and explaining the lack of gendered terms used in Article 34 of the Constitution's summary of marriage, the lawsuit sought to allow same-sex couples the right to wed.[393][394] On 20 December, the Salvadoran Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit on a legal technicality.[395]
Notably, as of 2019, 26 countries, all of which being developed or developing democracies, recognized same-sex marriage. By contrast, as at 5 April 2019, 14 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, impose the death penalty for homosexuality. These include Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.[4]
However A Practical Handbook of Psychiatry (1974) references "transgender surgery" noting, "The transvestite rarely seeks transgender surgery, since the core of his perversion is an attempt to realize the fantasy of a phallic woman."(Novello, Joseph R. (1974). A Practical Handbook of Psychiatry. University of Michigan, digitized August 2008: C. C. Thomas. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-398-02868-8. Archived from the original on 2015-09-19.)

^ Erez Levon (January 2008). National Discord: Language, Sexuality and the Politics of Belonging in Israel. p. 45-46. This amendment to the penal code entailed a de jure decriminalization of sodomy since, in 1963, the Israeli Supreme Court had already issued a de facto decriminalization, ruling that the anti-sodomy law (which dated back to the British Mandate of Palestine; Mandatory Criminal Ordinance of 1936) could not be prosecuted (Yosef Ben-Ami vs. The Attorney General of Israel, 224/63).
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