But the undisputed linchpin of the marriage equality movement's sudden momentum came this summer, when the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act. Enacted in 1996 when no state had marriage equality laws on its books, DOMA forbade the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriages. By the time it was overturned, the law had tossed married gay couples into bizarro world, where they were married for some purposes but unwedded for others. With the court's decision, the stakes of the marriage equality movement drastically changed. If state-level marriage laws made same-sex marriages a possibility, reversing DOMA put those marriages on an even playing field.