12 February 2004

The city of San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The recognition of same-sex marriage in San Francisco and throughout California went through several legal and political developments.

Proposition 8: In 2008, California passed Proposition 8, which amended the state’s constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage. This led to legal challenges and controversy.

Hollingsworth v. Perry: The case of Hollingsworth v. Perry challenged the constitutionality of Proposition 8. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the proponents of Proposition 8 did not have legal standing to defend the law in court. As a result, the District Court’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional stood, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in California.

Obergefell v. Hodges: In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, legalized same-sex marriage across the United States. This decision affirmed the right to marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states, including California.