What a year it’s been! With polls showing more support than ever, the marriage equality movement has been particularly fierce in 2013. So before we kiss this year goodbye, let’s take a walk down memory lane with the top five moments:
5. President Obama vows to fight for equality. During his second Inaugural Address, President Obama was the first president to discuss marriage equality in this important speech, as he reiterated his support for same-sex marriage.
4. Pope Francis exclaims, “Who am I to judge?” In July, Pope Francis said “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and is of good will, who am I to judge him? … The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a very clear way. It says that these people should not be marginalized. They should be integrated into society.” This proclamation signals a huge shift in the Catholic Church, which is one of the biggest oppositions to marriage equality.
3. Five countries legalized same-sex marriage. While we were celebrating our state-by-state milestones, France, New Zealand, Brazil, Uruguay and the United Kingdom passed marriage equality.
2. Nine states said “I do” to equality. Whether it was through legislation, supreme court decisions or backing down from an appeal, California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New Mexico and Utah began recognizing same-sex marriage.
1. The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down DOMA. In the Supreme Court ruling for United States v. Windsor, the Defense of Marriage Act was lifted, giving same-sex couples more than 1,000 federal protections.