After a groundbreaking ruling that was issued by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2015, same-sex couples in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country had a constitutional right to get married. The ruling was partly based on how the Court interpreted the 14th Amendment. The Court determined that allowing only heterosexual couples to get married was in violation of the constitutional right for equal protection according to the law.
Including the United States, there are over 20 jurisdictions or countries where same-sex marriage is legal. The Netherlands was the first to do so in 2000. Support for same-sex marriage has increased among the American public over the past 10 years. Fifty-four percent of Americans were against same-sex marriage in 2007, while 37 percent supported it. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of Americans now support legal marriage for gays and lesbians, while 32 percent are in opposition. The issue causes divides within individual demographics, even as support has increased overall. Among the various religious affiliations, the difference are especially stark. Eighty-five percent of Americans with no religious affiliation support same-sex marriage. Sixty-eight percent of white Protestants favor the marriages, while just 44 percent of black Protestants and 35 percent of white evangelical Protestants are in favor.
The number of same-sex marriages has been increasing. According to surveys by Gallup, 10.2 percent of LGBT Americans have married a same-sex partner, compared to 7.9 percent during the months before the Supreme Court decision.
A family law attorney may assist clients with issues pertaining to same-sex couples and divorce. Litigation may be used to protect a client's rights regarding property division, child support, child custody and other contentious issues.