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The liberty to marry someone of the same sex is celebrated on National Freedom to Marry Day on February 12. Since 1999, this unofficial holiday has been fighting for love and promoting equal rights to marriage for the LGBTQ community. The cause has come a long way, but the issue of normalizing same-sex marriage is still not over. Even though more and more countries are now allowing a modified form of marriage between couples of the same sex, an absolute marital union between all LGBTQ couples should be completely acceptable.
History of National Freedom to Marry Day
Since 1999, National Freedom to Marry Day is celebrated annually on February 12 to promote marriage between people of the same sex. The initiative for this holiday was taken by a Washington, D.C.-based gay rights advocacy law firm, Lambda Legal.
But the fight for allowing marriage between two people of the same sex has continued for decades before this holiday’s inception. Evan Wolfson, the founder of a group named Freedom to Marry, has been advocating the legal case for same-sex marriage for over 20 years now. During his years as a student at Harvard Law School, he wrote a paper in 1983 that is now considered to be the blueprint for the Freedom to Marry movement.
The most successful National Freedom to Marry Day was in 2004 when marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples by the City and County of San Francisco on the orders of the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom. On February 10, a directive to the clerk’s office started to make the necessary changes on the “forms and documents used to apply for and issue marriage licenses […] in order to provide [them] on a nondiscriminatory basis.”
The holiday also falls two days before Valentine’s Day, so many LGBTQ people get married on National Freedom to Marry Day to celebrate their love. Knots are tied around trees, signs, or just about anywhere else, to signify ‘tying the knot.’
National Freedom to Marry Day timeline
During his third year at Harvard Law School, Evan Wolfson writes a thesis arguing for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, which becomes the springboard for the Freedom to Marry movement.
National Freedom to Marry Day is founded by gay rights advocacy law firm, Lambda Legal.
On one of the most notable National Freedom to Marry Days since its establishment, the City and County of California issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Same-sex marriage is declared a constitutional right by the United States Supreme Court.
National Freedom to Marry Day FAQs
What are the 10 basic human rights?
According to the International Bill of Rights, they are:
- The right to equality and freedom from discrimination.
- The right to life, liberty, and personal security.
- Freedom from torture and degrading treatment.
- The right to equality before the law.
- The right to a fair trial.
- The right to privacy.
- Freedom of belief and religion.
- Freedom of opinion.
What is DOMA?
DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. It began to be challenged in the early 2010s.
What caused Obergefell v. Hodges?
In 2015, some parts of DOMA were still intact, including Section 2, which declared that states and territories could refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples from other states. The case involved several groups of same-sex couples who sued their respective states for the states’ bans on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize such marriages performed elsewhere.
How To Celebrate National Freedom to Marry Day
Why not? Many couples take advantage of this holiday as an opportunity to ‘tie the knot.’ Not only will you be legally united with your loved one, but your marriage will also be an example for others. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Talk about it
Discussion and spreading awareness of the Freedom to Marry movement is needed more than ever. We are this close to breaking down the walls that hold back love so, in the name of love, let’s do this!
Celebrate with your friends and family
Express your support and celebrate with your LGBTQ friends. The holiday is a celebration of love so the more, the merrier!
5 Facts About Same-Sex Marriage
The Netherlands took the first step
In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country ever to legalize same-sex marriage.
The first to take a step backward
Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to ban same-sex marriage.
The punishment is severe in some countries
In some countries, particularly in the Middle-East, the punishment for being gay is the death penalty.
Some TV shows were progressive for their time
Even though same-sex marriage was still illegal, TV shows like “Friends” and “Roseanne” featured same-sex marriages in the mid-1990s.
The public view hasn’t drastically changed
Views on favoring same-sex marriage by the general public have remained lukewarm and, for the most part, unchanged over the last few years.
Why We Love National Freedom to Marry Day
Eliminating a primitive mindset
Like heterosexuals, the LGBTQ community desires to create long-lasting, stable relationships, too. It is cruel to not allow the matrimony of two people who are in love. National Freedom to Marry Day challenges this primitive mindset, and we love it!
It’s the month of love!
The month of February is all about lovey-dovey holidays, National Freedom to Marry Day included.
We love love!
We at National Today are all for any holiday that celebrates love! This world can never have enough of it, and with such great causes that promote it, we have even more reason to celebrate.
National Freedom to Marry Day dates