The issue of same-sex marriage first surfaced in the U.S. news media – and thus public consciousness – in the early 1990s when the Hawaii state Supreme Court questioned the constitutionality of restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. In 1990 three same-sex couples had applied for marriage licenses in Hawaii and were turned down based on the state attorney general’s opinion that marriage is between one man and one woman. The following year, the couples initiated Baehr v. Lewin, seeking to have the same-sex exclusion declared unconstitutional. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education fund, an LGBT+ civil rights organization, originally declined to take the case because of concern over the wisdom of publicly fighting for marriage equality. Eventually, Lambda Legal joined the case, and in 1993 the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples was presumed to be unconstitutional unless the state could present a compelling interest justifying the same-sex marriage (SSM) ban.