How Gay Marriage Became a Constitutional Right

Story about the decade long campaign for marriage equality.

Feature (NATIONAL)

Molly Ball
Atlantic, The
July 1, 2015
Full story

Tags: LGBTQ, U.S. Supreme Court

Organizations mentioned/involved: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)


The fight for gay marriage was, above all, a political campaign—a decades-long effort to win over the American public and, in turn, the court. It was a campaign with no fixed election day, focused on an electorate of nine people. But what it achieved was remarkable: not just a Supreme Court decision but a revolution in the way America sees its gay citizens.

“It’s a virtuous cycle,” Andrew Sullivan, the author and blogger whose 1989 essay on gay marriage for The New Republic gave the idea political currency, told me. “The more we get married, the more normal we seem. And the more normal we seem, the more human we seem, the more our equality seems obviously important.”