Where State Laws Stand
Updated May 5, 2015
Q: In which states do same-sex couples have the freedom to marry?
A: Same-sex couples are able to marry in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and some counties in Missouri. The marriage states are: Alabama*, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 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 some Missouri counties (based on a pro-marriage ruling now on appeal).
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.
*A federal court has affirmed the freedom to marry - and both the 11th Circuit and Supreme Court have declined to impose a stay, but the Alabama Supreme Court has interfered, and couples are now seeking a class-action in federal court.
Q: In which states can same-sex couples attain some form of legal protection for their relationships?
A: Same-sex couples in 38 states plus the District of Columbia can receive some form of state-level protection for their relationships - whether marriage (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, 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 marry 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 65 victories for the freedom to marry since June 2013, with some of those rulings on hold pending appeal. In total, 70 marriage rulings have been issued since June '13. Six rulings have been issued by a federal appellate court (with 5 victories), forty-three rulings have been issued in federal court (with 41 victories), and twenty have been issued in state court (with 18 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 reviewed 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: 13 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 10 states with constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry AND alternative forms of legal relationship protection. See the full break-down below.
Marriage (38 Jurisdictions)
Alabama*, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida**, 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 (* A federal court has affirmed the freedom to marry - and both the 11th Circuit and Supreme Court have declined to impose a stay, but the Alabama Supreme Court has interfered, and couples are now seeking a class-action in federal court. ** Marriage licenses being issued as case proceeds to appeal)
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)
Arkansas (2 rulings), Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska (Set to take effect 3/9), South Dakota, Texas
Anti-Relationship Recognition Constitutional Amendments (10 states)*
Arkansas, 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.