Where State Laws Stand
Updated December 8, 2014
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 able to marry in St. Louis, Missouri and some counties in the state as a marriage case proceeds to the Missouri Supreme Court.
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).
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 57 victories for the freedom to marry since June 2013, with many of those rulings on hold pending appeal. In total, 61 marriage rulings have been issued since June '13. Six rulings have been issued by a federal appellate court (with 5 victories), thirty-nine rulings have been issued in federal court (with 37 victories), and seventeen 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), in Puerto Rico, in Louisiana, and in Tennessee.
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: 16 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 13 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, Missouri (Only the City of St. Louis and some counties), 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
Marriages from Other States Respected (1 State)
Pro-Marriage Rulings Reversed by 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (4 States)
Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
Pro-Marriage Ruling Issued by Judge, On Hold Pending Further Action (6 States)
Arkansas (2 rulings), Florida (4 rulings), Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and 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.