Where State Laws Stand
Updated January 27, 2015
Q: In which states do same-sex couples have the freedom to marry?
A: Same-sex couples are able to marry in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and some counties in Missouri. The marriage states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia.
Same-sex couples are also currently able to marry in Florida (where a pro-marriage ruling is now on appeal before the 11th Circuit), as well as in some Missouri counties (based on pro-marriage rulings also now on appeal). On February 9, if a stay in an Alabama marriage ruling is not extended, same-sex couples will also be able to marry in Alabama as an appeal proceeds to the 11th Circuit.
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 36 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, KS, ME, MD, MA, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NC, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, and WY) or respect for marriages legally performed in other states (MO). Same-sex couples can also currently marry in FL and in some MO counties.
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 61 victories for the freedom to marry since June 2013, with many of those rulings on hold pending appeal. In total, 66 marriage rulings have been issued since June '13. Six rulings have been issued by a federal appellate court (with 5 victories), forty-two rulings have been issued in federal court (with 39 victories), and eighteen have been issued in state court (with 16 victories). Judges have upheld marriage discrimination at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (KY, MI, OH, TN), and in Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Tennessee and Florida.
Q: In which states have marriage legal cases been granted review by the United States Supreme Court?
In 2015, the United States Supreme Court will review the freedom to marry in legal cases emanating from four states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Learn more about the freedom to marry at the Supreme Court 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: 15 states have laws or constitutional amendments that deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. These include 3 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry and 12 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry AND alternative forms of legal relationship protection. See the full break-down below.
Marriage (36 Jurisdictions)
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Marriage Licenses Being Issued While Case Proceeds to Appeal (2 Jurisdictions)
Florida, Missouri (Some Counties)
Marriage Licenses Soon to Be Issued While Case Proceeds to Appeal (1 Jurisdiction)
Alabama (Stay in 2 marriage rulings set to expire February 9)
Marriages from Other States Respected (1 State)
Anti-Marriage Federal Appellate Ruling; Pending Review by Supreme Court (4 States)
Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
Pro-Marriage Ruling Issued by Judge, On Hold Pending Further Action (7 States)
Alabama, Arkansas (2 rulings), Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas
Anti-Relationship Recognition Constitutional Amendments (12 states)*
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas
Anti-Marriage Constitutional Amendments (3 States)
Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee
Anti-Marriage Laws or State Statutes (14 states)**
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, 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.