I'm a single gay man in California who doesn't have anyone special in his life, but would like one day to have the opportunity like others in America to be married, and have that marriage recognized, like everyone else, by the government.
This is a look at some key dates in history in the struggle for marriage rights for all:
August 4, 2010: A federal judge in San Francisco rules that Prop. 8 passed by the state's voters is unconstitutional. He immediately placed a stay on his ruling to allow appeals to occur before county clerk's offices can start issuing marriage licenses in California.
July 8, 2010: A federal judge in Massachusetts rules the federal ban against gay marriages is unconstitutional to gay married residents of that state.
March 3, 2010: District of Columbia begins to issue marriage license applications to same-sex couples.
Dec. 1, 2009: District of Columbia's city council approves legislation allowing same-sex marriages in D.C.
Nov. 3, 2009: Maine votes to reverse recently signed same-sex marriage bill.
June 3, 2009: New Hampshire governor signs a bill making same-sex marriages legal in that state.
May 26, 2009: California Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8 banning gay marriages but allows 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand.
May 6, 2009: Maine Gov. John Balducci signs bill to allow same-sex marriage in that state.
April 7, 2009: Both houses of the Vermont Legislature override the veto by that state's Republican governor of a bill that establishes gay marriages. The law will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2009.
April 3, 2009: Iowa Supreme Court voids that state's same-sex marriage ban, paving the way for gay marriages to begin in 21 days.
Nov. 4, 2008: 52 percent of California voters approve Prop. 8 banning same-sex marriages through an amendment in the state constitution.
Oct. 10, 2008: Connecticut Supreme Court strikes down state's civil union laws, paving the way for same-sex marriages.
June 16, 2008: California clerks' offices begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
May 15, 2008: California Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples has a constitutional right to marry under the state constitution's equal protection clause.
Sept. 6, 2005: California Legislature passes a marriage bill to include same-sex marriages. The bill is later vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
May 17, 2004: Massachusetts begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the first in the nation to do that.
Feb. 12, 2004: San Francisco, under the orders of Mayor Gavin Newsom, issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples, spurring a wedding frenzy at City Hall. (The California Supreme Court later invalidates those marriages.)
Nov. 18, 2003: The Massachusetts Supreme Court rules that the state constitution mandates marriage rights be extended to same-sex couples and orders the Legislature to pass legislations providing for this.
Dec. 3, 1996: After the Hawaii Supreme Court rules the state regulations regarding issuing of marriage license is invalid, a lower court judge rules that the Department of Health has no good reasons to withhold marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state Legislature, in attempts to circumvent the courts, passes an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Sept. 21, 1996: The U.S. Congress passes what's known as the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriages as between a man and a woman and not recognizing any same-sex marriages that may be performed in individual states.