Where State Laws Stand
Updated October 17, 2014
Q: In which states do same-sex couples have the freedom to marry?
A: Same-sex couples are able to marry in 32 states, and will soon be free to marry in an additional 3. The marriage states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia.
Because the Supreme Court denied review in a case seeking the freedom to marry, the freedom to marry will soon come to all remaining non-marriage states in the 4th, 10th, and 7th Circuits, including Kansas and South Carolina. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has also affirmed the freedom to marry, and the ruling should also be binding in Montana.
Marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Arkansas and Michigan following court orders, but those orders are now either on hold or being challenged as they are considered by appellate courts.
Q: In which states can same-sex couples attain some form of legal protection for their relationships?
A: Same-sex couples in 33 states plus the District of Columbia can receive some form of state-level protection for their relationships - whether marriage (AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, ID, IL, IA, IN, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NC, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, and WY) or respect for marriages legally performed in other states (MO).
Q: In which states have judges ruled in favor of the freedom to marry since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Windsor?
A: There have been 47 victories for the freedom to marry since June 2013, with many of those rulings on hold pending appeal. Five rulings have been issued by a federal appellate court, twenty-eight rulings have been issued in federal court, and fourteen have been issued in state court. On October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in five marriage cases, allowing the freedom to marry to take effect immediately in 5 states and imminently in an additional 6. A 9th Circuit ruling in favor of the freedom to marry paves the way for marriage in MT. For a full breakdown of all 47 wins, click here. For information on all pending marriage litigation, click here.
Q: Which states currently have laws - whether constitutional amendments or anti-marriage state statutes - that prohibit the freedom to marry or limit legal protections for same-sex relationships?
A: 19 states have laws or constitutional amendments that deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. These include 4 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry, and 14 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry AND alternative forms of legal relationship protection. See the full break-down below.
Marriage (33 Jurisdictions)
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Soon to have the freedom to marry (3 States)
Kansas, Montana, South Carolina
Marriages from Other States Respected (1 State)
Pro-Marriage Ruling Issued by Judge, On Hold Pending Further Action (8 States)
Arkansas, Florida (4 rulings), Louisiana, Kentucky (2 rulings), Michigan, Ohio (2 Rulings, Limited), Texas, and Tennessee (Limited)
Anti-Relationship Recognition Constitutional Amendments (14 states)*
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas
Anti-Marriage Constitutional Amendments (4 States)
Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee
Anti-Marriage Laws or State Statutes (17 states)**
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas
* States where language goes beyond just marriage and affects other legal relationships, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships
** This list includes states with laws or statutes that prohibit marriage. The list includes all states with constitutional amendments that prohibit marriage or relationship recognition for same-sex couples, with the exception of Nebraska.