Where State Laws Stand

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

A: Same-sex couples are able to marry in 17 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois (Takes Effect June 1), Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. In Utah, a federal judge has ruled that the ban on same-sex couples from marrying is unconstitutional, and hundreds of same-sex couples have received legal marriage licenses while the state of Utah appeals the ruling. Oregon honors out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples.

Q: In which states can same-sex couples attain some form of legal protection for their relationships?

A: Same-sex couples in 21 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, VT, and WA), explicit respect for out-of-state marriages (OR), full domestic partnership or civil union (CO, NV, OR) or more limited domestic partnerships (WI). 

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: 33 states have laws or constitutional amendments that deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. These include 9 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 4 states with state statutes limiting the freedom to marry but NOT constitutional amendments (IN, PA, WV, WY). See the full break-down below. 


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

Marriage (18 Jurisdictions)
California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington

Honoring Out-of-State Marriages of Same-Sex Couples (1 State)

Civil Union (3 States)
Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey

Broad Domestic Partnership (2 States)
Nevada and Oregon

Partial State Protections (1 State)

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 (9 States)
 Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee

Constitutional Amendment Allowing Legislature to Restrict Marriage (1 State)

Anti-Marriage Laws (30 states)**
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 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.