Cities and counties in the United States offering a domestic partnership registry

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Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships
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*Not yet in effect

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As of 2014, 22 U.S. states and the District of Columbia legally recognize and document same-sex relationships in some fashion, be it by same-sex marriage, civil union or domestic partnerships. Many counties and municipalities outside of these states also provide domestic partnership registries which are not officially recognized by the laws of their states, are only valid and applicable within those counties, and are usually largely unaffected by state law regarding relationship recognition (except in some aspects). In addition, many cities and counties continue to provide their own domestic partnership registries while their states also provide larger registries (for all relationship recognitions); a couple can only maintain registration on one registry, requiring the couple to de-register from the state registry before registering with the county registry.

These are the cities and counties of United States which offer a domestic partnership, classified by census region:[1]

West Region[edit]

  Cities, boroughs, towns, townships, unincorporated areas, and villages that offers domestic partner benefits
  Counties, consolidated city-counties, boroughs, parishes, and independent cities that offers domestic partner benefits
  State-wide domestic partnership benefits for state employees only
  State-wide partner benefits through same-sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnership, designated beneficiary agreements, or reciprocal beneficiary relationships, including state-wide domestic partnership benefits for state employees1
  County or city does not offer domestic partner benefits

1Civil unions legal in six Arizona cities

Pacific Division[edit]

Hawaii[edit]

Same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) and reciprocal beneficiary relationships are all granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.[2]

Alaska[edit]

Domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

Washington State[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples and all previous domestic partnerships (with the exception of couples with at least one member aged 62 or above) have automatically been converted into civil marriage.

Oregon[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are both granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples. Since October 16, 2013, based on an opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon has recognized same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.[4] Same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon on May 19, 2014 after U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled that the state's 2004 constitutional amendment banning such marriages were unconstitutional - court stays and appeals were denied.[5]

California[edit]

Same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships are both granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples. Proposition 8 passed by voters in November 2008 by 52 percent, putting same-sex marriage on hold and pending court outcomes or appeals that were ongoing for nearly five years. On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court declared both Proposition 8 and DOMA unconstitutional, and the Ninth Circuit Court lifted the stay a day later - hence same-sex marriage returns to California again.

Mountain Division[edit]

Idaho[edit]

No state recognition of same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages was going to be granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples under a court ruling on May 14, 2014 - but now has been put on hold by a court stay and ongoing appeals by other courts.[6][7]

Montana[edit]

Domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

Wyoming[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Nevada[edit]

Domestic partnerships are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

Utah[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.[9][10] Subject to ongoing stays and appeals.

Colorado[edit]

Civil unions and designated beneficiary agreements are both granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples. Court rulings on same-sex marriages are on both under a stay and appeal.

Arizona[edit]

Domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

New Mexico[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.[13]

Midwest Region[edit]

West North Central Division[edit]

North Dakota[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

South Dakota[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Minnesota[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

Nebraska[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Iowa[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.

Kansas[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

Missouri[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level. However, by executive order, same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions (such as other countries or other US states that allow same-sex marriages) are recognised for the purposes of state taxation only.[28][29][30]

East North Central Division[edit]

Wisconsin[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are both granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage court rulings are subject to ongoing stays and appeals.

Michigan[edit]

There is currently no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level. However, same-sex marriage was ruled legal on March 21, 2014 and more than 300 same-sex couples were married in Michigan before a stay against enforcement of the ruling was issued.[40][41]

Illinois[edit]

Same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are all granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples.[45][46][47]

Indiana[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples. Subject to court stays and appeals.

Ohio[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level. As of April 14, 2014 Ohio recognizes same-sex marriage from other jurisdictions - under a federal judge order (until there is a stay on the ruling). In Henry v. Wymyslo, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ordered that Ohio recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage, but the order is stayed except for the 4 named plaintiff couples in the case. In Obergefell v. Wymyslo, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ordered that Ohio recognize valid same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions for death certificate purposes only. The decision is stayed, pending appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

North-East Region[edit]

New England Division[edit]

Vermont[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples. Civil unions (before September 1, 2009 only) are still recognized and were not automatically converted into same sex marriages, since Vermont was the first state in the US to provide civil unions.

Rhode Island[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples and all previous civil unions were automatically converted into same sex marriages.

New Hampshire[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples and all previous civil unions were automatically converted into same sex marriages.

Maine[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are both granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

Massachusetts[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

  • City of Boston: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Town of Brewster: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Town of Brookline: No residency requirement. Limited to same-sex couples.
  • City of Cambridge: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. Benefits include visitation rights in hospitals and correctional facilities equal to those given to a spouse. A domestic partner, who is also the parent or legal guardian of a child, may file a form at or send a letter to the child's school to indicate that the parent's domestic partner shall have access to the child's records.
  • Town of Nantucket: No residency requirement. Open to opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Town of Provincetown: No residency requirement for registrants. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. Benefits include visitation rights in hospitals and correctional facilities equal to those given to a spouse. A domestic partner, who is also the parent or legal guardian of a child, may file a form at or send a letter to the child's school to indicate that the parent's domestic partner shall have access to the child's records.

Connecticut[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples and all previous civil unions were automatically converted into same sex marriages.

Middle Atlantic Division[edit]

New York State[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

Pennsylvania[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

New Jersey[edit]

Same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are all granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

South Region[edit]

West South Central Division[edit]

Oklahoma[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Texas[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

Arkansas[edit]

Same-sex marriages are granted throughout the entire state to same-sex couples. Subject to stays and appeals.

Louisiana[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

East South Central Division[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

Tennessee[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

Mississippi[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Alabama[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

South Atlantic Division[edit]

Delaware[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships (limited to state employees only) are both granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples. All previous civil unions have been automatically converted into civil marriages.[89]

Maryland[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are both granted throughout the entire state for same-sex couples.

Washington, DC[edit]

Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are both granted in the district for same-sex couples.

West Virginia[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Virginia[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

North Carolina[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

South Carolina[edit]

No recognition for same-sex couples on state, county or city level.

Georgia[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

Florida[edit]

There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples on a state level.

References[edit]

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