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A series of federal court decisions strike down same-sex marriage bans in several states, and the Supreme Court declines to review cases in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, effectively requiring those states to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Other federal court rulings make same-sex marriage legal in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, Idaho, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, South Carolina and Montana.

Voters in North Carolina approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court strikes down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, requiring the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages from the states where they are legal.

Hawaii voters approve constitutional language allowing their legislature to determine policy on same-sex marriage, effectively overturning a series of earlier court decisions that may have required the state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

The legislature subsequently approves a measure banning same-sex marriage.

At the same time, however, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals becomes the first — and so far only — federal appeals court to uphold state gay marriage bans, a ruling that applies to Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Supreme Court rules all state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional – thus allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in all 50 states.

The decision also makes it likely that the Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans. In the months preceding that ruling, same-sex marriage becomes legal in Florida and Alabama after federal courts strike down those states’ same-sex marriage bans. The Iowa Supreme Court rules that the state’s constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry, making Iowa the third state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. John Lynch signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Jim Douglas’ veto to approve a law legalizing same-sex marriage.District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.Voters in Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin approve constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.Voters in Arizona reject a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, marking the first time such a measure has been rejected by voters.He walked out of prison on May 3, 2004, at age 19, a free man.

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