On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, ending marriage discrimination throughout the nation. This decision was quickly implemented by states across the country, including in Georgia. Read more about the ruling here.
In 2004, anti-gay forces in Georgia pushed through Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any other form of legal family status.
Although a state court ruled that the amendment violated Georgia's single-subject rule for ballot measures, the state Supreme Court, in July 2006, upheld the anti-gay amendment.
Marriage supporters across the state are continuing to speak out in favor of equality, working to overturn anti-marriage laws in Georgia so that all same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry.
In April 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry in Georgia and respect for marriages legally performed elsewhere. On January 29, Judge Duffey granted in part and denied in part a request to stay the proceedings in the case, pending resolution from the U.S. Supreme Court. In his order, Judge Duffey certified his January 8 order denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case for immediate appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Judge Duffey did not rule on the constitutionality of Georgia’s marriage ban, instead indicating that the 11th Circuit should review the case before he issues an order. If the 11th Circuit accepts the appeal, Georgia’s case will be on the same track for a decision from the 11th Circuit as the Florida and Alabama cases, marking a definite step forward for the freedom to marry in Georgia.
Read more about marriage litigation in Georgia.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Georgia Equality is the political advocacy voice of Georgia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender citizens and their allies.
- MEGA Family Project is a nonpartisan, statewide organization dedicated to providing support, education, and advocacy work on behalf of LGBT families.
- Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
A majority of Georgia residents (57%) say that same-sex couples should be able to either marry or join in civil union. (Public Policy Polling, August 2013)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 21,318 same-sex couples are living in Georgia, representing 5.9 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Georgia
As we await the United States Supreme Court's ruling on the question of the freedom to marry, counties are preparing for the possibility that their marriage bans may be struck down as a result of the decision.
Here's what's going on in the 13 states where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry. Every day of denial in these states is a day too long - and the past year of momentum demonstrates more clearly than ever: America is ready for the freedom to marry.
In the order, Judge Duffey granted, in part, a motion to stay the proceedings in the case. But he also certified an earlier order in the case – his January 8 order denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case – for immediate appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Resources Related to Georgia
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Georgia.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".