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For decades, LGBT activists have fought hard for the right to marry. Today, they got it.

Exactly two years after the Supreme Court struck down provisions in the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8, the country finally has marriage equality.

For decades, LGBT activists have fought hard for the right to marry. Today, they got it.

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law in all 50 states.

In a 5-4 ruling, it ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.


But let's take a look at how we got here — below is a timeline of the fight for marriage equality from 2003 to 2015. Enjoy!

2003-2007: Marriage in Massachusetts and the era of the civil union.

On Nov. 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to get married unless the legislature amended the state's constitution. While Vermont had legalized civil unions in 2000, this awesome decision made Massachusetts the first state to legally recognize same-sex couples as being married!

Karen O'Brien Ahlers and Michelle Joanne Blair during their wedding in Framingham, Massachusetts, following the ruling by the state Supreme Court. Photo by Douglas McFadd/Getty Images.

In early 2004, the state legislature debated amending its constitution to recognize marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. The amendment was supported by then-Gov. Mitt Romney, but luckily, it failed to become law! Marriage remained legal statewide.


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaking at a press conference on Feb. 11, 2004, in support of amending the state's constitution to revoke same-sex marriage rights. Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images.

In 2004, Maine passed a civil partnership bill. In 2006, New Jersey joined them.

During the 2006 mid-term elections, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin passed statewide same-sex marriage bans by referendum. — bleh.

In 2007, Washington, Oregon, and New Hampshire signed civil union/domestic partnership bills into law. (Slow and steady wins the race.)

2008: Connecticut and California (kinda — Prop 8).

On May 15, 2008, California's Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. The following month, couples began to get married! Love! Happiness! Et cetera!

This picture, taken June 17, 2008, shows newlyweds Ariel Owens and Joseph Barham exiting San Francisco City Hall following the state Supreme Court decision granting marriage equality. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Unfortunately, that victory was short-lived. That November, the state would vote on Proposition 8, a referendum that would effectively undo the court's decision. Prop 8 passed with 52% of people voting in its favor, putting an end to same-sex marriage in California.

On Nov. 5, 2008, on the day after the Proposition 8 vote, LGBT individuals and allies rallied, devastated but determined to fight. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images.

Maryland passed a domestic partnership bill into law, and in October, marriage equality came to Connecticut as the result of a state Supreme Court ruling. In all, 2008 was up and down.

2009: Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and D.C. legalize marriage.

In 2009, three states (plus D.C.!) joined Massachusetts and Connecticut in legalizing same-sex marriage.

On April 3, Iowa's Supreme Court ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Four days later, Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through its legislature when it overrode a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas! That June, New Hampshire's Gov. John Lynch signed a similar bill into law. The District of Columbia Council voted to recognize same-sex marriage in December.

Marriage was on a roll!

A couple applies for a marriage license on April 27, 2009, at Iowa's Polk County Administration Building. Earlier that month, the state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

2010-2012: New York, Washington, and rights by popular vote.

As states like Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, and Rhode Island passed civil unions bills into law, other states aimed higher. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state's marriage equality bill into law on June 24, 2011, after narrowly passing through the state Senate.

In early 2012, same-sex marriage came to Washington and Maryland by way of their state legislatures. These victories were short-lived after the laws' opponents collected enough signatures to put the bills up for a public referendum in the November elections.

In November, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted in favor of marriage equality. For the first time in U.S. history, states voted to enact marriage equality by popular vote. Prior to this, the issue was frequently placed on ballots as a way to increase voter turnout among evangelical Christians. The tide had finally turned.

2013-2014: Down with DOMA, putting an end to Prop 8, and the marriage equality tipping point.

In May 2013, governors in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota signed marriage equality bills into law.

That June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned California's Proposition 8 as well as Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 was the portion of the law that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. These rulings set off a chain reaction in the states. Big things were happening! Big things!

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and overturned California's Proposition 8. This was a major victory for LGBTQ individuals. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images.

In October, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped the state's appeal of a court decision in favor of marriage equality. In November, Hawaii became the 15th state to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples. Illinois joined the club a week later, and New Mexico the month after that.


A man attends the marriage equality signing ceremony in Illinois on Nov. 20, 2013. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

In 2014, same-sex marriage came to Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, and Montana by way of court rulings. Florida would join during the first week of 2015.

2015: Showdown at the Supreme Court.

As same-sex marriage bans fell one after another, it became clear that the issue was headed back to the Supreme Court for what many hoped would be a once and for all.

On April 28, the court heard arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. On June 26, 2015, the ruling came back. It's finally here! Marriage equality is here!

Yes! Love! Yes.


Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images.

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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