Movement Analysis: The Pathway to Victory, a Review of Supreme Court LGBT Cases

This summer the United States Supreme Court handed down its most sweeping LGBT rights case to date. In striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) definitions of marriage and spouse, the Court found that DOMA instructs same-sex couples “that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” and held that these restrictions on the federal recognition of marriage violate the U.S. Constitution. This ruling highlights how the Court’s treatment of LGBT people has monumentally shifted in just 27 years from when it first held that states could criminalize sodomy. Inspired by the ruling in United States v. Windsor, I decided to take a look back at the five cases that created the historical path that led the Court to where we are today.

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