Where State Laws Stand

Updated August 21, 2014

Q: In which states do same-sex couples have the freedom to marry?

A: Same-sex couples are able to marry in 19 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

Marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Utah and Wisconsin 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 22 states plus the District of Columbia can receive some form of state-level protection for their relationships - whether marriage (CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, and WA), full domestic partnership or civil union (CO, NV) or more limited domestic partnerships (WI). 

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 38 victories for the freedom to marry since June 2013, with many of those rulings on hold pending appeal. Three rulings have been issued by a federal appellate court, twenty-two rulings have been issued in federal court, and thirteen have been issued in state court. For a full breakdown of all 38 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: 31 states have laws or constitutional amendments that deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. These include 8 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry, 20 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry AND alternative forms of legal relationship protection, and 3 states with state statutes limiting the freedom to marry but NOT constitutional amendments (IN, WV, WY). See the full break-down below. 


To learn more about each state's laws or get involved, visit our state pages.  

Marriage (20 Jurisdictions)
California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington

Civil Union (1 State)

Broad Domestic Partnership (1 State)

Partial State Protections (1 State)

Pro-Marriage Ruling Affirmed by Federal Appellate Court (3 States)

Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia

Pro-Marriage Ruling Issued by Judge, On Hold Pending Appeal (14 States)

Arkansas, Colorado (2 rulings), Florida (5 rulings), Idaho, Indiana (2 rulings), Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio (2 Rulings, Limited), Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee (Limited), Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Anti-Relationship Recognition Constitutional Amendments (20 states)*
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

Anti-Marriage Constitutional Amendments (8 States)
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee

Constitutional Amendment Allowing Legislature to Restrict Marriage (1 State)

Anti-Marriage Laws (29 states)**
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

* 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 Nevada, Nebraska, and Oregon.