File talk:Samesex marriage in USA.svg

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Guide to editing this map[edit]

People have often asked how to edit this map, so I am making this guide. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 23:14, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Step 1: Get an Editor[edit]

Any XML editor will work. I use EditiX-Free-XML Editor2009. Opening the file with Notepad or WordPad works as well.

Step 2: Determine what you need to change[edit]

Generally, most of the changes you will need to make involve changing striping (or lack of striping). Most logical striping combinations already exist; creating new two- and three-stripe combinations is easy, though creating a new four-stripe pattern would require some familarity with SVG creation.

Step 3: Editing the map[edit]

The legal status of same-sex marriages and unions in each state is indicated by a fill pattern selected by one of the following codes.

  • marriage: Same-sex marriages
  • similar: Unions granting rights similar to marriage
  • limited: Unions granting limited or enumerated rights
  • foreign: Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
  • stay: Judicial ruling against a same-sex marriage ban stayed pending appeal
  • statuteban: Banned by statute
  • constitutionban: Banned by constitution
  • constitutionbanmore: Constitution bans same-sex marriage and unions
  • nolaw: No specific law regarding same-sex marriage

(Note that the new map proposal at the bottom of this page adds a stay to show states with stayed rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans.)

Patterns for compound legal statuses exist: similar-constitutionban, similar-foreign-constitutionban, foreign-constitutionbanmore are included.

New multi-color combinations for compound statuses to put in the SVG defs section are easy to construct:

  <g id="similar-foreign-constitutionban">
    <use xlink:href="#part1of3" class="similar"/>
    <use xlink:href="#part2of3" class="foreign"/>
    <use xlink:href="#part3of3" class="constitutionban"/>

The pattern may be invoked and its center positioned so that it fully overlaps the clipping path used to define the shape of a state or territory.

  <!-- Oregon -->
  <g clip-path="url(#clipPathOR)">
    <use xlink:href="#similar-foreign-constitutionban" transform="translate(95,120)"/>

The transformation may include scaling or rotation to enhance the appearance of small, striped regions without fear of disturbing the region's outline:

  <use xlink:href="#similar-foreign-constitutionban" transform="translate(97.5,120) scale(0.8) rotate(-65)"/>

In regard to the translations: Except for Alaska and Hawaii, all the US states use the top-left of the image as the origin. Alaska, Hawaii and the insular territories have their origins located at the top-left of their insets. This makes them easy to move.

The color palette for the states and territories is defined entirely within the CSS near the top. Only the inset lines and the white circle outline for the enlarged, circular representation of Washington D.C. have hard-coded colors.

When editing the SVG file with Notepad, say, it is helpful to have the SVG file loaded into your web browser. You can usually load the image simply by dragging the SVG file's icon into the browser window. Whenever you save the changes you've made, press F5 in the browser to refresh the image.

Step 4: Check and submit the new version[edit]

When you are satisfied with the changes, check it carefully, use the W3 Validator and if all is well, upload the new version.

So that the SVG file can easily be edited even with crude text editors like Notepad, it is helpful to use CRLF for the line endings.

Planning for a post-Bostic/Kitchen/Bishop world[edit]

In the event that any one of these cases comes down in favor of same-sex marriage, it will drag states along in which the particular state's ban on same-sex marriage has not yet been struck down. Furthermore, if the ruling is stayed pending resolution at the Supreme Court, that will leave states like KS, NC, WY, etc. in a position where

  • There is a state constitutional ban (or statute) which has not been directly struck down
  • There is an appellate court ruling which has struck down a similar ban and is thus binding on the state
  • There is a judicial stay in place which allows the state to continue to enforce its ban


  • Go with Gold for all these states (assuming a stay)
  • Striping to indicate the State ban has not been fully adjudicated, but is challenged by the precedent of the (stayed) appellate ruling (red/gold)
  • A new color altogether
  •  ?

Davidmac2003 (talk) 13:49, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

There already is, hidden for now, coding for two lighter shades of gold to cover stays on marriage on states that either ban marriage only (like Colorado) or have only statue bans (like Wyoming). If, for example, the Kitchen/Bishop ruling is issued and not stayed, the whole 10th District goes blue, but the likelier immediate stay has the stay colors on the district. Likewise for the 4th (Virginia). Here is the map with both districts stayed. Dralwik|Have a Chat 13:52, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Dralwik - appreciate the feedback. However, I don't think your map distinguishes between, e.g., TX in which a state ban has been adjudicated to completion and is stayed pending appeal at the 5th Circuit, and KS, where a state ban has not been adjudicated but would be subject to a stayed binding precedent. Perhaps this is a distinction without a difference, I admit... Davidmac2003 (talk) 14:40, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
There won't need to be a distinction; once the 10th Circuit rules, every state in the circuit will be in the same position. It won't matter what state the case originated in at that point. Tinmanic (talk) 15:10, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with Tinmanic. Another possibility is that if the courts uphold the district rulings, SCOTUS simply doesn't grant cert on the cases and lets the appellate courts sort the issue out while they wait for a court split, meaning the circuits go right to marriage. I'm hoping that is what happens, as it would result in a much simpler map: this. A quicker resolution in those states, and a much less busy map. If the court will grant cert to a pro-SSM ruling, we'll find out quickly since Utah especially seems intent to appeal as far as they can. Dralwik|Have a Chat 15:36, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Since it would be political suicide for Gary Herbert and AG Reyes *not* to appeal, I fully agree. And I'm not truly convinced that even a defeat at the US Supreme Court on this issue would truly be the legal end of the issue in Utah. (for example, I could either the entire state or some counties (ie every county except SL County) deliberately keeping the marital form as Husband and Wife rather than Spouse 1 & Spouse 2).Naraht (talk) 16:55, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Remember, it doesn't necessary go District -> Appellate -> SCOTUS. The anti-SSM defendants can request the appellate court to review the case en banc to stall the situation. That is what happened in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:13, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I think it will depend on how narrowly or broadly the decision is crafted; whether the decision applies to the state in question, or the whole circuit. But even in the case of a narrow decision at the Appeals level, people in the rest of the circuit could head to district court with a copy of the ruling, and have a reasonable chance of getting a preliminary injunction. Also, remember that Texas has parallel state and federal cases going on. Mw843 (talk) 03:20, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin's marriage ban. There is no stay yet, but the ruling does not go into effect yet, either; the judge is giving the plaintiffs until June 16 to propose an injunction. I see a user has already turned Wisconsin blue on the map; I've created new footnote text and commented out the light-blue color on the legend for now. Tinmanic (talk) 21:18, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! EvergreenFir (talk) 21:37, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, I wonder if this is right. This is an unusual scenario: a state where (1) there is no stay yet, but (2) the decision is not yet in effect, and on top of that (3) the state allows domestic partnerships. Looks like we've already decided what to do if there's a stay (dark gold + light blue striping), but what about now? Am I overthinking this? Tinmanic (talk) 21:41, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I am not certain either. Without an actual stay (yet) I'm hesitant to go to the gold + sky blue striping, and lean towards treating it as analogous to a state where a bill to legalize same-sex marriage has passed but is not in effect yet: i.e. marriage blue with the footnote. Dralwik|Have a Chat 21:43, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I like that analogy. I think you're right. Tinmanic (talk) 21:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Looks like blue is indeed correct for now. Licenses are being issued in at least Milwaukee and Madison. Link Dralwik|Have a Chat 23:34, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Beat me to it. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:48, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
The District Court has declined to stay its order, and more counties are performing marriages: I suggest that Wisconsin be removed from the footnote. Mw843 (talk) 19:39, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
The situation is still in flux, though; Judge Crabb has declined to stay her order, but she also says the order is not yet in effect because she hasn't issued an injunction: Tinmanic (talk) 20:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Update: There could be a stay issued today..! [1] --Prcc27 (talk) 20:26, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Cream Color[edit]

Is it just me or does the cream color seem too close to the light yellow color? In this test map [2], you can hardly distinguish between West Virginia and Ohio. --Prcc27 (talk) 00:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

May I suggest we switch the statue stay color from (█) to (█)? --Prcc27 (talk) 00:54, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
How about FFEE00 (█)? That way we preserve the triplet coding (fe0). Dralwik|Have a Chat 01:39, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Prcc27 (talk) 02:35, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Indiana next up?[edit]

The judge considering whether to stay his preliminary injunction that the state recognize one out-of-state marriage is taking his own sweet time about it (five weeks, and counting), leading to speculation in legal circles that he's readying a state-side ruling. Mw843 (talk) 02:08, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

As well, keep in mind both the Fourth (VA) and especially Tenth (UT/OK) Circuits could issue their rulings any day now, and a circuit court ruling would be circuit-wide (so NC/SC/WV and/or WY/CO/KS). But with the flurry of rulings pending, trying to guess which one will be next likely falls out of the scope of this page. Dralwik|Have a Chat 02:22, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Hmm... Would the Indiana ruling only be a partial ruling (like OH, KY) or could the judge strike down the entire ban..? --Prcc27 (talk) 05:24, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
My instinct is another OH/KY partial ruling, but the judge could toss the ban outright. As well, Colorado will have a hearing in state court on its ban Monday, and the Colorado Supreme Court is expected to uphold a pro-marriage ruling. Dralwik|Have a Chat 16:53, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
The Colorado case did not go well for the state ... AP reports that the judge repeatedly mentioned the recent 0 for 15 run of rulings, and "mocked" the state AG's argument about procreation: never a good sign. NOM is holding a rally in Washington on Thursday ... any betting that one or more outstanding rulings drop Wednesday or Thursday? Mw843 (talk) 23:38, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Imo I believe that Indiana,Florida and Colorado are the next bans to be strike down(without counting the circuits ban) btw the judge in Indiana is suppose to strike down all the ban if its a positive ruling.--Allan120102 (talk) 00:52, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Remember, Colorado's AG is not running for re-election. For all we know, in January the new AG could just pull out from the defense. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 03:02, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
The ACLU sent a letter to the Wisconsin Attorney General reminding him that he has thirty days after the June 13 judgement to appeal. If neither he nor the Governor appeal by July 13, iirc the judgement would stand and Wisconsin is back to blue. Both AG Van Hollern and Walker look like they're willing to delay and just run the clock out. Dralwik|Have a Chat 15:36, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Walker has been feigning indifference but Van Hollern looks like he's still gung-ho ... maybe the delay is his staff telling him "We got nothing." Mw843 (talk) 16:50, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Does anyone know if the 4th and 10th circuits operate anything like the Supremes: big dump of rulings now, and then go away for the summer? Mw843 (talk) 16:50, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure they don't have annual terms like SCOTUS, and instead they operate year-round. Tinmanic (talk) 17:34, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
I think Tinmanic is right. Whereas SCOTUS has fixed terms and set times of year for issuing major opinions, the Circuit Courts operate continuously, with no ruling dumps. So the 4th/10th Circuit rulings could come this week, or in July, or August... Dralwik|Have a Chat 17:38, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

The 9th Circuit will not revisit SmithKline-Beecham, so "heightened scrutiny" is now the precedent for sexual orientation and gender identity decisions in 9 states. Mw843 (talk) 20:28, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's great. However, let's keep the Talk page for discussions of the map. Tinmanic (talk) 20:31, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Ban struck down in Indiana. No stay as of yet. Map updated. Tinmanic (talk) 16:10, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Tenth Circuit decision![edit]

The 10th Circuit has struck down Utah's ban. The court has stayed the ruling. The decision doesn't explicitly mention the other states in the circuit, but the decision is controlling throughout the circuit, so I've updated the map with @Dralwik:'s stay colors. I think this is the correct approach but I'm open to being wrong about that. I've also un-hid the stay colors in the main legend, and I also bolded some words to make it easier to differentiate them. Tinmanic (talk) 16:49, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The decision does set a controlling precedent for the 10th, but since no other state is mentioned, I don't think it automatically applies to any other state. Someone still has to get in front of a Federal judge in Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming, and, based on this ruling, request relief. Mw843 (talk) 17:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
But it's doubtful anyone would request relief based on a stayed decision, since it would have no effect. Tinmanic (talk) 18:04, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I think the existing coloration is good ... it would be a nightmare to try and differentiate Kansas (state ban at risk from stayed Appeals court ruling) from Utah (state ban struck by District Court ruling, but stayed), and keep the map and legend visible on one screen. Mw843 (talk) 20:03, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I wonder what effect this ruling has on Oklahoma's ongoing appeal to Tenth Circuit court. If this does nothing to it until the ruling of the Oklahoma appeal finally comes out, this might suggest that while all states within Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction may be affected, they are not YET affected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Foreshadowing ... especially since the same three judges heard both cases. Mw843 (talk) 20:03, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
How come Wyoming is yellow and not orange? Seems to me it falls under the category "Judicial ruling against a state constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage and similar unions stayed pending appeal", same as all the other 10th Circuit states. — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 17:16, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Wyoming does not have a constitutional amendment against ssm it has just a statue against it.--Allan120102 (talk) 17:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Then why isn't there a separate key for that in the legend? As I noted in my last comment, there's a single category, "Judicial ruling against a state constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage and similar unions stayed pending appeal". — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 17:23, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
There is a separate key: "Judicial ruling against a state statutory ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal." Tinmanic (talk) 17:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Whoops, the new keys were still hidden on the map page. They were already unhidden on the template that contains the map. I've unhidden them all now.Tinmanic (talk) 17:27, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see now! That resolves that, but now I have a new question: How come the keys that apply to states with constitutional bans say "state constitutional and statutory ban" instead of just "state constitutional ban"? — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 17:35, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
That I do not know. But I agree with you that it's probably not necessary. Tinmanic (talk) 18:03, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
State laws regarding same-sex partnerships in the United States1
  Same-sex marriage allowed2
  Domestic partnerships or civil unions granting privileges similar to marriage for same-sex domestic partners3
  Limited/enumerated privileges granted by state3
  No prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriage or unions in territory law
  Judicial ruling against ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages stayed pending appeal
  Judicial ruling against statutory ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal
  Judicial ruling against constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and any existing statutory bans, stayed pending appeal4
  Statute bans same-sex marriage
  Constitution bans same-sex marriage5

1 The federal government recognizes all legally performed same-sex marriages, regardless of the current state of residence.
2 Eight Native American tribal jurisdictions also allow same-sex marriage. Some states in this category also allow other same-sex unions.
3 Not recognized by the federal government.
4 Most states in this category also have judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage.
5 Many states in this category also ban unions similar to marriage. Most states in this category also have statutory bans.

Damn, we finally have all four shades of gold in. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:30, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Should the legend be re-arranged so that each shade of gold follows the relevant shade of red? Mw843 (talk) 17:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm fine with that to make the relationships clearer. I'm updating the other maps on commons as we speak. (Woohoo!) Dralwik|Have a Chat 17:40, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Would now be a good time to add stay colors to the North American map..? [3] --Prcc27 (talk) 18:54, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


Hi all, the map in its current state seems completely unreadable. The four shades of gold are very hard to distinguish from each other, and a lot of new legend wording seems very verbose and unnecessary. My suggestion would be to consolidate the first three shades of gold listed in the legend into one color on the map. The one where it the rules only require the states to recognize same-sex marriage can stay separate though, because that is an important distinction. Other information such as that about whether the ban was statutory or constitutional seems decidedly less so. I would then recommend the updated caption for this consolidated color on the legend to be something like: "Judicial ruling against a state ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal." Which is still completely accurate, but much more straightforward and to the point, while allowing us to consolidate like categories and improve map readability. Thoughts? Artichoker[talk] 04:17, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the map has gotten a little out of hand. I would be in favor of the proposed consolidating of the 3 gold colors as state above. In practical terms, it doesn't really seem to be an important distinction for the purposes of this map, and two of the gold colors I can't even really distinguish between on the map anyways. Rreagan007 (talk) 05:00, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I support one stay color (but prefer the status quo to striping). Dralwik|Have a Chat 05:09, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Does that mean we'll have to go back to striping? I don't like that idea. It seems impossible to have one stay color like we used to without striping. I do agree however that the readability is over the top, which is why I proposed having a separate marriage map (which failed) [4]. But since this map covers not only different types of unions- but different kind of bans, it is hard not to have a map that is either unreadable or cluttered with stripes. --Prcc27 (talk) 05:28, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Why do we need more than one color for stays? The map has too many colors. If someone wants more info, they can click on the state's article and read more info. CTF83! 05:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
We don't. But since we differentiate between the different type of bans.. we have to IMO. The stayed ruling doesn't change the current status of same-sex marriage bans; there are still different types of bans. However, I don't think it's that important to differentiate between a statue ban and a constitutional/statue ban for the same reason @CTF83!: had. If someone wants to know more information what type of ban each state has they can read the articles for more information. But since this isn't the case, and since we do differentiate between the different kind of bans, I don't think we can ignore the current status of same-sex marriage bans for the stayed states. --Prcc27 (talk) 05:50, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I would be okay with condensing the stay colors but if and only if we condensed the red colors (to only differentiate between a ban on ssm and a ban on ssm/other unions) too. --Prcc27 (talk) 05:59, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm OK with consolidating most of the golds as suggested. On the other hand I think it's important to somehow preserve the information about the different types of ban, in the event an appeals court overturns a lower court decision and they need to be restored to the map. But if that were necessary, there are older versions of the map in the file history that contain that information. So on balance I'm OK with consolidating. Tinmanic (talk) 12:14, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Agree with down to two shades of gold, and, could we collapse the two darkest reds (red and brown?) into one? If a state hasn't banned "similar same-sex unions", but hasn't accommodated them either, is it an important distinction? I'd keep red and ditch brown, just for viewability with the blue striping in Nevada, and change the label to "Constitution bans same-sex marriage" ... "and statute" is redundant ... if some states had a third way to ban same-sex marriage, they'd have done it. Mw843 (talk) 13:28, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Here are two test maps: one with three golds consolidated,[5], one with three golds consolidated and two reds consolidated.[6] Tinmanic (talk) 15:32, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I like the second one, but have we lost too much information on Wyoming? Do we need to three golds for stays: one for Constitution, one for Statute, and one for recognition? Indiana could soon be joining Wyoming in that category. Mw843 (talk) 16:09, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes we have lost too much information on Wyoming on that map. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:01, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I like the second one (maybe with the darkest red though to match the dark marriage blue, so this). I don't think it loses too much information. A reader could click to an article like Same-sex marriage law in the United States by state (which we could stick in the legend) to see if a state bans just marriage or civil unions too. A couple of years ago when civil unions looked like the compromise for the foreseeable future that distinction was important but as the push shifts to full marriage, the relevance of whether a state constitution bans civil unions as well is fading quickly. Dralwik|Have a Chat 16:21, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I like the darker red as well. We should probably wait a bit to see if anyone else chimes in who hasn't yet. Tinmanic (talk) 16:30, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreed on waiting a bit more. I have a SVG with the updated coding ready to upload upon consensus. Dralwik|Have a Chat 16:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
That actually looks a *lot* better than I thought it would. Mw843 (talk) 16:33, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I oppose both maps. If the number of gold colors is too much (it probably is), I would support going back to striping with three shades of red. The type of ban that is present in each state is very important information. I am slightly more amenable to merging the two darker shades of red with three shades of gold (OoS, statute, constitution), but I still concerned about that Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:01, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

We do have File:Constitutional bans on same-sex unions types US.svg to distinguish the constitutional bans that also ban civil unions. We could merge the two darker reds and the two darker golds, and keep the statute stay yellow distinct. Dralwik|Have a Chat 17:09, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Test update for File:Samesex marriage in USA.svg
How does this look? I would accept something like this. We could make a footnote to specific that most red/dgold states ban CU/DPs Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:12, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with that, although I prefer using the darkest red (#900) for the constitutional bans as a nice parallel to the marriage deep blue. (This.) Tinmanic, Prcc27, Mw843, thoughts? Dralwik|Have a Chat 17:15, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Works for me. Tinmanic (talk) 17:38, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Me too, with the darkest red. Wyoming is different from Utah, which is important, and Tennessee looks like Florida, where I don't think the difference matters. Mw843 (talk) 17:48, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Do we need a footnote re: CU/DPs? I don't see a big difference between a state that bans something, and one that doesn't, but opts not to do anything. I think the stripping for Nevada and Colorado is sufficient. Especially that given the general direction of events, more CU/DP states are unlikely. Mw843 (talk) 18:13, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I think a footnote would be acceptable, since it would permit the map to retain reference to the distinction even as it becomes visually clearer. Dralwik|Have a Chat 18:20, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

The template should probably go as such:

State laws regarding same-sex partnerships in the United States1
  Same-sex marriage allowed2
  Domestic partnerships or civil unions granting privileges similar to marriage for same-sex domestic partners3
  Limited/enumerated privileges granted by state3
  No prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriage or unions in territory law
  Judicial ruling against a ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages stayed pending appeal
  Judicial ruling against a statutory ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal
  Judicial ruling against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal4
  Statute bans same-sex marriage
  Constitution bans same-sex marriage4

1 The federal government recognizes all legally performed same-sex marriages, regardless of the current state of residence.
2 Eight Native American tribal jurisdictions also allow same-sex marriage. Some states in this category also allow other same-sex unions.
3 Not recognized by federal government.
4 Many states in this category also ban unions similar to marriage.

Feel free to edit in suggestions. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 18:48, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I changed "most" to "many" - it's 11 out of 18, which is technically most, but it's not a vast majority. Tinmanic (talk) 19:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I removed references to statute when there's a constitutional ban. Mw843 (talk) 19:24, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I removed the word "state" from the "Judicial ruling ..." lines. If the order was shuffled so that the "Judicial" line followed the corresponding "Ban" line the bolding could be dropped. Mw843 (talk) 19:29, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I'll give this discussion another hour to look over the footnote, and then I'll update the map, template, and commons legends. Dralwik|Have a Chat 18:58, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with @Thegreyanomaly:'s map but with the dark red. --Prcc27 (talk) 19:23, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
So Even though I oppose changing the current map because it demonstrate how crazy the situation right now is,I see the majority vote for changing it so which map we will use the one with the dark or bright red?--Allan120102 (talk) 19:38, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
The dark red. It'll still be crazy; the actual change will be losing the cherry red of Mississippi et al. and merging Colorado's stay into the beige. Dralwik|Have a Chat 19:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

The revised map looks great. One thing though: it's very hard to distinguish the two yellows (WY vs. OH/KY). Can they be differentiated more? Tinmanic (talk) 20:15, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Sure. I'll try darkening Wyoming. (Once the Fourth Circuit rules, which is any day now, we'll have West Virginia in the Wyoming yellow.) Dralwik|Have a Chat 20:18, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Unless the Fourth Circuit rules that banning same-sex marriage is constitutional.. --Prcc27 (talk) 20:20, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
More likely that the 7th Circuit will stay Indiana ... agree that it would be easier to tell the colors apart if they were next to each other ... and that the map looks great. Mw843 (talk) 20:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

It looks much improved. Good job, everyone! Artichoker[talk] 23:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree the map is much better now, but I do have a request. Would everyone be okay if we change the statutory ban color (which I think only currently is being used for West Virginia) to the darker (I think it was) orange color we used to use for the constitutional amendment ban? It would help provide greater contrast for the colorblind people like myself. Rreagan007 (talk) 03:11, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm on board with switching West Virginia to medium red. Wow, if West Virginia goes yellow we can get rid of the statue color! --Prcc27 (talk) 05:21, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The swap is in. (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are also statute bans. There's a case in Puerto Rico, not sure about the Virgin Islands.) Dralwik|Have a Chat 14:49, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh, thanks for reminding me. If West Virginia goes gold or blue we'll probably have to add "in territory law." so people don't accidentally overlook them like I did! --Prcc27 (talk) 20:12, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
It looks great! Thanks. Rreagan007 (talk) 17:58, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, good job in improving readability; two-reds and two-golds is better in this case, while preserving statutory-ban-only and recognition-only information. MarkGT (talk) 06:38, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Even I need to say it the map looks better like this, good job everyone.--Allan120102 (talk) 20:59, 27 June 2014 (UTC)


Could we please italicize the "and" in the key instead of bold it?

  Judicial ruling against a state constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage and similar unions stayed pending appeal
  Judicial ruling against a state constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage and similar unions stayed pending appeal

--Prcc27 (talk) 05:28, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Why exactly? Seems unnecessary and looks very busy. Tinmanic (talk) 12:08, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Legend and Footnotes[edit]

I apologize in advance, but the Legend and Footnotes are not what was discussed yesterday.

Currently, the description for Gold, and the associated Footnote are:

"Judicial ruling against constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage stayed pending appeal <footnote 4>".

4 Most states in this category also have judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage.

I think this description is misleading, and the footnote is just plain wrong.

I suggest that the footnote be removed, and the description of Gold be changed to:

"Judicial ruling against constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and any existing statutory ban, stayed pending appeal"

Existing Footnote 5 should be renumbered to 4, and I think the other uses of strong - /strong in the Legend should be removed as well. Mw843 (talk) 17:41, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I oppose removing footnote 4. Can you be more specific on how it is "just plain wrong"? I support the rewording of gold. Since I'm the the one who added "and statutory" I'll fix it right now. Also, since we don't have the "strong" marks on any of the red words, and since we got rid of a yellow (which makes it easier to distinguish between the different type of bans), I support removing them. --Prcc27 (talk) 20:42, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Unions similar to marriage are Civil Unions and Domestic Parterships. Most states that are appealing their ban on SSM being overturned don't have CU/DP's for anyone, so they can't have judicial rulings involving them. Mw843 (talk) 22:38, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
They have bans on same-sex unions that are being challenged by judicial rulings. The bans that are being overturned not only mention same-sex marriage, but other unions similar to marriage as well. --Prcc27 (talk) 23:15, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
No, for most states, their marriage bans are being challenged, they don't have any other type of legal union to be challenged: Texas, for instance doesn't have Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships for anybody, but they do have marriage that is restricted to opposite-sex partners. Same-sex couples can challenge being denied access to marriage, but they can't challenge not being given access to something that opposite-sex couples don't have access to either. Mw843 (talk) 23:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Okay, but if the entire ban is being struck down, and the ban makes a reference to similar unions; then not only is the ban on same-sex marriage being struck down, but the ban on other unions as well. Same-sex couples are challenging the ban in general not just the same-sex marriage part of it. This has already been discussed here:[7] --Prcc27 (talk) 00:09, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
And the footnote says "Most states in this category also have judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage.": This is incorrect because most states in the category *do not have* unions similar to marriage in the first place. Mw843 (talk) 02:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
You don't have to have unions similar to marriage in order to ban them. --Prcc27 (talk) 22:17, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Are you being deliberately obtuse? If there is no union similar to marriage available to opposite sex couples, no judge can make them available to same-sex couples. The judge in Texas, for example, could overturn the ban on same-sex couples marrying, but he could not overturn a ban on same-sex couples entering into Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions because Texas law does not allow DP/CU's for anyone. That is the case in most states. The footnote is factually incorrect. Mw843 (talk) 00:59, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why this is a problem now.. The wording used to say "Judicial ruling against a ban on same-sex marriage and similar unions stayed pending appeal." Now that we consolidated some of the colors the footnote is necessary. Because the judge overturned a ban on same-sex couples entering similar unions to marriage, one day if Texas decides they want to create unions similar to marriage for opposite-sex relationships (possibly a substitute for polygamous relationships) the ban being overturned would not allow Texas to deny people in same-sex relationships these similar unions. Overturning a ban doesn't necessarily make something legal, it removes discriminatory and unconstitutional language from the constitution/statue. Outlawing unions similar to marriage for same-sex partners but not outlawing them for opposite-sex partners renders same-sex partners as unequal. --Prcc27 (talk) 04:40, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The footnote says "Most states in this category also have judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage." This statement is demonstrably false: most states in the category *do not have* judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage, because most states in the category *do not have* unions similar to marriage in the first place. A judge can strike down a ban against same-sex marriage because marriage exists, he cannot strike down a ban on same-sex Domestic Partnerships or same-sex Civil Unions if there are no Domestic Partnership or Civil Unions. Mw843 (talk) 17:30, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

We're kinda going in circles now. In short, a judge can strike down a ban on similar same-sex unions because it targets a certain class. If similar same-sex unions are illegal but not similar opposite sex unions (even if they aren't actually available) that is unequal. You don't have to have similar unions in order for the ban on them to be struck down. --Prcc27 (talk) 21:04, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships are constructs of the state: a judge cannot strike down a limitation on what a state has elected not to erect. Mw843 (talk) 01:41, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
This argument is getting nowhere. The entire bans were struck down and the bans included similar same-sex unions. Do you have a reliable source that says that even though bans on same-sex marriage and similar unions were struck down, only the same-sex marriage aspect of the ban is affected? If not, maybe you can make a suggestion on rewording the footnote..? --Prcc27 (talk) 02:29, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
That's where you're wrong: If there are no Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions recognized by the state, there is no ban to strike down. I don't think any of the solid-gold states have Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions: the footnote should be deleted. Mw843 (talk) 03:17, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm done arguing with you because I've already said countless times that there doesn't have to be any. If I'm wrong, proof me wrong with a reliable source. --Prcc27 (talk) 03:48, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mw843: @Prcc27: So, I went back and looked at a few of the written court decisions, from Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, and Idaho. The "Order" heading at the end of each decision specifies exactly which sections of the state constitution and state code are being struck down, and if you look at those struck-down sections, they include a ban on similar unions for same-sex couples alongside the marriage ban. So, technically, the court decisions do strike down "bans on unions similar to marriage." However, the written court decisions themselves are only about marriage; they refer extensively to marriage; they don't discuss similar unions at all. It's a moot issue, because nobody is asking for civil unions or domestic partnerships anymore. So I would support removing it from the footnote because it unnecessarily complicates the chart. There is precedent, since we already removed the distinction between the previous dark red and lighter red. (Finally, remember Sayre's law. Some things are not worth getting angry over.) Tinmanic (talk) 16:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So does this mean we have to remove the stay color from the File:Same-sex unions in the United States.svg map..? Also, concerning the precedent... there is a footnote for the darker red to address that many states ban other unions. The distinction wasn't "removed" it was just made into a footnote. --Prcc27 (talk) 22:37, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean this map? [8] I'll be honest, I don't particularly care about that map because I don't see the point of a map that doesn't include marriage. Nobody really cares about CUs/DPs anymore - they have been irrelevant since Windsor was decided. As for the footnotes, ultimately I'm non-committal; I'm not sure why they have to mention bans on CUs/DPs at all; but I do support indicating on the map the states allow them (NV, CO, WI) because they are existing unions as opposed to theoretical. Tinmanic (talk) 23:13, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Splitting the Map[edit]

As has been pointed out, the map is looking increasingly busy and unreadable as more states with their own issues get caught up in the tug-of-court of decisions and stays. I propose splitting the map in a very similar way as illustrated in the "Other versions" section of the image page. One map shows what is legal, one map shows what is banned. This results in two very efficient maps that together display even more information than the previous one, with a fraction of the unreadability. Wisconsin, in particular, gets by without quadruple striping. Advantages over the current map include reintroduction of whether state constitutions also ban unions similar to marriage, and whether same-sex marriage has been performed in the past. Here are the maps:

This map illustrates those states in the USA that routinely offer same-sex marriage, similar unions, or have done so in the past.
This map illustrates those states in the USA that ban same-sex marriage and/or similar unions, whether constitutionally or by statute, and if these bans have been overturned but stayed.

0nlyth3truth (talk) 05:42, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Extremely, strongly oppose - this map is supposed to be a "one-stop-shop". People have proposed similar things before, this map is to depict both positive and negative laws. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 17:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Point taken. 0nlyth3truth (talk) 18:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
      • I oppose splitting this map into two, too. On most pages we'd probably end up having to use both maps, and the maps don't seem any less chaotic (especially the one with a bunch of stripes). --Prcc27 (talk) 20:59, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Maybe we could put these maps in the "Other versions" section but I don't necessarily think we should use them in the Wikipedia articles... Maybe we could replace the "Recognition of same-sex relationships in the United States.svg" map with your proposed recognition map but that should probably be discussed on that map's talk page. In the first map you left out Kentucky. In Kentucky, same-sex marriage recognition was previously legal before the stay, but no recognition was given to same-sex marriages performed outside of Kentucky. The second map has way too much striping. I would be less likely to support adding the "States with same-sex marriage bans.svg" map than the "States with same-sex marriage.svg" map to the "Other versions" section. The "States with same-sex marriage bans.svg" map seems just as busy as the same-sex partnership (Samesex marriage in USA.svg) map. --Prcc27 (talk) 07:22, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
    • I'll add to the discussion there. Note that the color scheme does not allow for a non-grey Kentucky. 0nlyth3truth (talk) 18:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I should probably add that "States with same-sex marriage.svg" doesn't appear to be accessible for people who are colorblind. --Prcc27 (talk) 09:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
    • You're right, purple and blue seem to be among the more commonly confused hues. 0nlyth3truth (talk) 18:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  • (But since there isn't red, it might be fine. All the different shades of purple might be an issue though. I'm actually not sure whether it is accessible for people who are colorblind). --Prcc27 (talk) 09:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
    • There're only two shades of purple, and they're distinguishable by lightness. 0nlyth3truth (talk) 18:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
You seem to be confused about Kentucky. Same-sex marriage was not recognized there but recognition of same-sex marriage was de jure legal. There should be four shades of green.
"Foreign same-sex marriages previously recognized before stay pending appeal" should be one shade (which doesn't apply to any states yet). and "Foreign same-sex marriages previously legal but not recognized before stay pending appeal" should be another (which applies to Kentucky). --Prcc27 (talk) 21:03, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Very, very strongly oppose splitting the map. For starters, the map is not increasingly "busy and unreadable", in fact: 42 of the 50 states fall into one of three categories ... and of the other 8 states: 3 involve stripping because the states offer something less than marriage, 3 only have statutory bans, not constitutional, and 2 have had only part of their bans struck down. AFAIC, the map is more readable now than it has been in some time.

And the map can't be all things to all people: otherwise Oregon and Pennsylvania should be a different color than California and New York because there are still attempts to appeal the relevant rulings ... and Kansas should be a different color than Michigan, because technically their ban is only covered by a Circuit court precedent, and not a ruling against their own laws and constitution ... the same for Wyoming and Indiana ... and Arkansas should be a different color than Oklahoma because it's a state court decision that has been stayed, not a federal court ruling ... and Texas should be stripped with the Arkansas and Oklahoma colors because both federal and state rulings that have been stayed, except that Texas federal case was a preliminary injunction, not a final ruling, so it can't use the Oklahoma color. And Tennessee is a special case as well, because one couple had a preliminary injunction, and that's being appealed to the 6th Circuit. And I could go on. I say leave it alone for a while, rather that diving in again less that 48 hours after a major re-do. Mw843 (talk) 00:44, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Pennsylvania's ruling can't be appealed. --Prcc27 (talk) 01:54, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
That hasn't stopped someone from trying ... and until the 3rd Circuit rejects her, as they're expected to, it's not final. Mw843 (talk) 02:58, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
The Third Circuit did: order. Dralwik|Have a Chat 16:52, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
The Supreme Court won't take up the case either [9] --Prcc27 (talk) 23:16, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
"busy and unreadable" has most to do with the fact that the color scheme isn't parallel. The three main color categories (blue-red-gold::legal-ban-stayed overturned ban) differ only in hue yet are not gradations of one variable. The current map is being optimized for minimal striping and not for logical coherence of the color scheme, which is of course not intrinsically a bad thing. That's the reason the distinction between constitutional bans on marriage vs marriage+more got tossed, because it was difficult to convey without striping. At any rate, conveying all of the information of the map from before the last big readjustment is basically impossible with all the ongoing overturnstays. Since the point of this map is to have ONE map conveying all the info, I have no further objections to offer about this map, and will redirect my attention to those "split" maps. 0nlyth3truth (talk) 17:04, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


I understand that there was recently a ruing in Tennessee that struck down their marriage ban, or part of it? and was stayed pending appeal. I noticed in the map history we put Tennessee in the "stayed pending appeal" category, but removed it because "An injunction is stayed pending appeal, not the ban itself." I am a little unclear as to the situation in TN, and was looking for a little clarification. Thanks. Aharris206 (talk) 00:54, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee had issued a preliminary injunction in Tanco v. Haslam that the state recognize the same-sex marriages of the plaintiffs. The order has been stayed, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case on August 6, 2014
The reasoning was that since a state-wide ban wasn't involved, Tennessee should stay dark red. Mw843 (talk) 01:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Aharris206 (talk) 03:38, 29 June 2014 (UTC)


Kentucky should be solid gold now: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mw843 (talkcontribs) 16:27, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Here's another source: OBCPO1 (talk) 20:56, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Map is very wrong now[edit]

Somebody changed a bunch (but not all) of the light red (banned by statute) states over to dark red (banned by constitutional amendment) without fixing the key. (talk) 17:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not seeing this. What else should be light red besides West Virginia and Puerto Rico? Tinmanic (talk) 17:22, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Previously same-sex marriages in Wyoming and Indiana were banned by state statute but were struck down and currently being stayed by pending appeal(s). JayJayWhat did I do? 18:10, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Right, but what is the anonymous user referring to? Tinmanic (talk) 18:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea. The key has been changed so many times its hard to know. JayJayWhat did I do? 18:23, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I think they meant somebody changed the medium red states over to dark red. I don't understand what they mean about the key not being fixed... --Prcc27 (talk) 22:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
(They might be confused about us merging the medium red and dark red). --Prcc27 (talk) 22:55, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, anonymous user, we decided to bunch all the states with a constitutional ban into one color (dark red), the old color for JUST the ban constitutional ban and not the ban on civil unions (medium red) is now being used for a statute ban (instead of light red), since it is a more distinct color and is better for those who are colorblind). When a statute ban is struck down, and stayed pending appeal, it turns (yellow) instead of (gold), since it was just a state statute and not the state's constitution. You can see all of this in the new updated key.Aharris206 (talk) 00:02, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Add US Circuit Court boundaries?[edit]

It would be nice if someone added the boundaries of the various US Circuit Courts and labeled them. Thanks! Peterpqa (talk) 16:53, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

We could put a link in a footnote to File:US Court of Appeals and District Court map.svg, which would be much quicker than trying to collect the boundary points to define the court outlines (this map isn't as simple as drawing lines in a program). Dralwik|Have a Chat 18:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I had thought that with all of the state boundary points already collected, it might be fairly straightforward to aggregate those points into bold-line Circuit Court boundaries (not "drawing lines"). Because Circuit Court decisions are so important in the SSM issue (witness Colorado's county clerks' current actions), Circuit Court boundaries and labels could be a valuable addition to this map. PS: I'm a newbie to Wikipedia Talk, so please excuse any etiquette faux pas. Peterpqa (talk) 01:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Marriage striping on Colorado?[edit]

A county judge has ruled that the Boulder County clerk can continue to issue marriage licenses (CBS Denver story), and now the Denver County clerk has joined in issuing licenses (NBC Denver). With multiple counties issuing licenses under protection of a court order, should we add a third, marriage stripe to Colorado? (The situation also involves an impending state court ruling on the ban.) Dralwik|Have a Chat 18:35, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

I would say no additional striping, because it's not a statewide situation. Tinmanic (talk) 18:43, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
We had marriage striping on New Mexico when it was a county-by-county situation: this. A statewide situation would be the solid blue. Dralwik|Have a Chat 18:52, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
The ruling denying the injunction specified that same-sex marriage still isn't legal, so I'd say no change for the moment. But that's at 16:36 EDT ... check back in an hour ... Mw843 (talk) 20:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
The key currently says "Same-sex marriage allowed" and since the judge gave the okay it would seem that clerks are allowed to issue same-sex marriage licenses even though they aren't legal and/or can be invalidated. I support striping and adding a footnote as well (which is what we did for New Mexico). Otherwise, we are going to have to change the key to "Same-sex marriage legal" which in my opinion would just be an unnecessary change.. --Prcc27 (talk) 22:04, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
It looks like the AG is going to the State Supreme Court. Either he's successful, and the Clerks have to stop, or, it's New Jersey all over again ... either way, I think we should wait for a decision. Mw843 (talk) 22:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mw843: Why should we wait? This map is supposed to reflect the current status of same-sex marriage in the united states. --Prcc27 (talk) 23:15, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Prcc27:Some counties are issuing licenses, but even the judge who didn't put a stop to it wrote that people should be told that the licenses may not amount to anything, and the ban remains in effect ... until the law is struck, they're just pieces of paper. So for the moment, the map reflects the legal situation on the ground. Now, if there was a color for "fluid and confusing" ... Mw843 (talk) 23:31, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mw843: The blue striping represents that county clerks are allowed to issue same-sex licenses; thus the wording "Same-sex marriage allowed." The gold striping represents that even though licenses are being issued, the ban is still in effect but has been struck down pending appeal. The medium blue striping represents civil unions. Having the marriage striping would be helpful because currently the Colorado footnote is on the gold stay color when it would make more sense if it was on the blue marriage color. --Prcc27 (talk) 23:46, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Prcc27:Sorry ... blue and gold are mutually exclusive, and no legal authority (at the moment) is recognizing the licenses. Ergo, no change required. Yet. Mw843 (talk) 23:55, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mw843: Which is why the recognition color isn't used.. I believe we striped New Mexico blue even though the licenses weren't recognized yet. A *legal authority* said the county clerk in Boulder County was allowed to issue the marriage licenses. Same-sex marriage is banned and licenses are allowed to be issued to same-sex couples; so both should be reflected. --Prcc27 (talk) 00:04, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I side with Mw843. Doing anything to Colorado right now is jumping the gun. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 01:42, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Thegreyanomaly: So it's not even footnote worthy..? When exactly are we supposed to stripe Colorado; when the supreme court of Colorado hears it? A state district court ruling is still a valid one. --Prcc27 (talk) 06:43, 11 July 2014 (UTC)