List of U.S. state laws on same-sex unions

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Status of same-sex marriage in the United States1
  Same-sex marriage legal
  Same-sex marriage legalization pending, but not yet in effect2
  Same-sex marriage banned, despite Supreme Court precedent that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional
  Same-sex marriage status complicated3,4

1 Native American tribal jurisdictions have laws pertaining to same-sex marriage independent of state law. The federal government recognizes same-sex marriages, regardless of the current state of residence. Same-sex marriage will be de jure legal nationwide (except maybe American Samoa) per U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
2 According to an executive order, government agencies in Puerto Rico must comply with the Supreme Court ruling within 15 days of it.
3 Same-sex marriage licensed in every county of Kansas, but the state does not yet recognize same-sex marriages.
4It is not clear whether or not the Supreme Court's precedent applies to American Samoa.


State laws regarding same-sex unions similar to marriage in the United States1
  Domestic partnerships or civil unions granting state privileges of marriage2
  Same-sex unions granting limited/enumerated privileges
  Same-sex unions similar to marriage not available

1Not recognized by the federal government. However, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government. Same-sex unions similar to marriage are provided at the local level in many jurisdictions.
2Domestic partnerships in Washington are only available when at least one of the partners is 62 years of age or older.

This article is intended as a resource for current legal status of same-sex unions. See same-sex marriage legislation in the United States and same-sex marriage law in the United States by state for more detailed descriptions, outcomes, and history of individual cases.

In keeping with the purpose of this article, cases will only be cited when there is a relevant ruling, or an unusual filing.

Same-sex marriage summary[edit]

Same-sex unions have been on the political radar in the United States since the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that denying marriage licenses to same-sex partners violated the Hawaii constitution unless there is a "compelling state interest." Since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004, other states have redefined their own marriage laws, both for and against same-sex marriage.

Marriage is defined as the union of two U.S. citizens by the federal government as of June 26, 2013.

By June 6, 2014, all remaining state bans on same-sex marriage were being challenged in state or federal court.[1]

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to offer same-sex marriage and recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.[2]

The federal government recognizes all legally-authorized same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriage is now legal or pending legalization in all 50 U.S. states, 5 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

The U.S. states and territories where same-sex marriages are not being performed and recognized, despite the Supreme Court decision, are:

Some individual counties across several states are refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples, in some cases by not issuing marriage licenses to anyone.

More details can be found in the Jurisdiction listing below.

Jurisdiction listing[edit]

Below is the current status of the law in each of the 50 U.S. states, 5 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

  • The blue shading indicates what is currently allowed
Jurisdiction Civil marriage Other unions Notes
Restriction Same-sex marriage Civil Unions Domestic
Partnerships
Constitutional Amendment Statute Licenses Recognition
Flag of Alabama.svg Alabama No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No Several counties, including Pike and Geneva, have stopped issuing marriage licenses entirely.[3]
Flag of Alaska.svg Alaska No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of American Samoa.svg American Samoa No No No - See Note No - See Note No No American Samoa is outside of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals system, and residents are "American nationals", not "American citizens", so it is not clear whether or not the Supreme Court precedent in Obergefell applies.

There has been no official response to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell.

Flag of Arizona.svg Arizona No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Arkansas.svg Arkansas No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of California.svg California No No Yes Yes No Yes
Flag of Colorado.svg Colorado No No Yes Yes Yes No
Flag of Connecticut.svg Connecticut No No Yes Yes Previously Available No
Flag of Delaware.svg Delaware No No Yes Yes Previously Available No
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg District of Columbia N/A No Yes Yes No Yes
Flag of Florida.svg Florida No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Georgia No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Guam.svg Guam N/A No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Hawaii.svg Hawaii No No Yes Yes Yes No
Flag of Idaho.svg Idaho No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois No No Yes Yes Yes No
Flag of Indiana.svg Indiana No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Iowa.svg Iowa No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Kansas.svg Kansas No No Yes No - See Note No No All Kansas counties are issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but the state government is refusing any recognition until all appeals have been exhausted.[4][5] The original complaint has been amended, in an attempt to compel state recognition.[6]
Flag of Kentucky.svg Kentucky No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No Casey and Rowan counties have stopped issuing marriage licenses entirely.[7]
Flag of Louisiana.svg Louisiana No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Maine.svg Maine No No Yes Yes No Limited
Flag of Maryland.svg Maryland No No Yes Yes No Limited
Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Michigan.svg Michigan No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Minnesota.svg Minnesota No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Mississippi.svg Mississippi No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Missouri.svg Missouri No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No Some counties are not issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but it is not clear how many are doing so for logistical reasons.[8]
Flag of Montana.svg Montana No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Nebraska.svg Nebraska No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No The clerk of Sioux county has announced that she will not issue licenses to same-sex couples.[9]
Flag of Nevada.svg Nevada No No Yes Yes No Yes
Flag of New Hampshire.svg New Hampshire No No Yes Yes Previously Available No
Flag of New Jersey.svg New Jersey No No Yes Yes Yes Limited
Flag of New Mexico.svg New Mexico No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of New York.svg New York No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of North Dakota.svg North Dakota No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands.svg Northern Mariana Islands No No Pending - See Note Pending - See Note No No The Governor's office says it will consult with the Attorney General on changes required to implement the Supreme Court decision.[10]
Flag of Ohio.svg Ohio No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Oklahoma.svg Oklahoma No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Oregon.svg Oregon No No Yes Yes No Yes
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Puerto Rico No No Pending - See Note Pending - See Note No No The Governor has said that the commonwealth will comply with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell.[11]
Flag of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island No No Yes Yes Previously Available No
Flag of South Carolina.svg South Carolina No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of South Dakota.svg South Dakota No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Tennessee.svg Tennessee No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No The staff of the clerk's office of Decatur county have all resigned rather than issue licenses to same-sex couples.[12]
Flag of Texas.svg Texas No No Yes - Limited Exceptions Yes No No A number of counties are refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples.[13]
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svgU.S. Virgin Islands N/A No Pending - See Note Pending - See Note No No The Governor has said that the territory will comply with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell, and that an executive order is being drafted.[14]
Flag of Utah.svg Utah No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Vermont.svg Vermont No No Yes Yes Previously Available No
Flag of Virginia.svg Virginia No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Washington.svg Washington No No Yes Yes No Limited
Flag of West Virginia.svg West Virginia No No Yes Yes No No
Flag of Wisconsin.svg Wisconsin No No Yes Yes No Limited
Flag of Wyoming.svg Wyoming No No Yes Yes No No
Jurisdiction Civil marriage Other unions Notes
Restriction Same-sex marriage Civil Unions Domestic
Partnerships
Constitutional Amendment Statute Licenses Recognition

Jurisdiction status by federal circuit[edit]

  • A bold circuit court indicates circuit precedent in favor of same-sex marriage.
  • An italic circuit court indicates circuit precedent upholding same-sex marriage bans.

Note: American Samoa is outside of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals system; appeals from High Court of American Samoa can only be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal cases have been heard in Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

Circuit Civil marriage for same-sex couples Notes
Banned Ban overturned,
but order stayed
Unrecognized contrary to
SCOTUS precedent
Legal
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Seal.svg
First
Puerto Rico
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
US-CourtOfAppeals-2ndCircuit-Seal.png
Second
Connecticut
New York
Vermont
US-CourtOfAppeals-3rdCircuit-Seal.svg
Third
U.S. Virgin Islands Delaware
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
US-CourtOfAppeals-4thCircuit-Seal.png Fourth* Maryland
North Carolina
South Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
US-CourtOfAppeals-5thCircuit-Seal.png
Fifth
Louisiana
Mississippi
Texas
On 1 July 2015, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued rulings ordering all three states to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges
US-CourtOfAppeals-6thCircuit-Seal.png
Sixth
Kentucky
Michigan
Ohio
Tennessee
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals orders upholding the bans in all four states have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
US-CourtOfAppeals-7thCircuit-Seal.png Seventh Illinois
Indiana
Wisconsin
US-CourtOfAppeals-8thCircuit-Seal.png
Eighth
Arkansas
Iowa
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
North Dakota
South Dakota
US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svg
Ninth
Northern Mariana Islands Alaska
Arizona
California
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Montana
Nevada
Oregon
Washington
US-CourtOfAppeals-10thCircuit-Seal.png Tenth Kansas
Colorado
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Utah
Wyoming
US-CourtOfAppeals-11thCircuit-Seal.png
Eleventh
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
District of Columbia Court of Appeals Seal.svg
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
US-CourtOfAppeals-FederalCircuit-Seal.svg
Federal Circuit
Circuit Civil marriage for same-sex couples Notes
Banned Ban overturned,
but order stayed
Unrecognized contrary to
SCOTUS precedent
Legal

See also[edit]

In general[edit]

In the United States[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lawsuit Filed to Block Nation's Last Unchallenged Same-Sex Marriage Ban in North Dakota - abcnews.go.com". AP. June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Landmark Ruling Takes Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide - dailybusinessreview.com". Daily Business Review. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Barbour County issuing same-sex marriage licenses - dothaneagle.com". Eufaula Tribune. July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ "All Kansas counties allow same-sex marriage licenses; state still studying policy changes - tribtown.com". AP. June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Kansas agencies not recognizing gay marriages yet - ljworld.com". AP. November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "ACLU amends same-sex marriage lawsuit - 6lawrence.com". AP. November 26, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Same-sex marriage fight turns to clerks who refuse licenses - bgdailynews.com". AP. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Several Missouri counties still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples - lgbtqnation.com". AP. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Nebraska county clerk says she'll deny same-sex marriage licenses - journalstar.com". Lincoln Journal Star. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ "CNMI to start consultations on same-sex ruling - radionz.co.nz". Radio New Zealand. June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Puerto Rico to amend laws after US ruling on gay marriage - nzherald.co.nz". AP. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Entire Tenn. county clerk’s office resigns over same-sex marriage licenses - wkbn.com". Media General. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Texas falls in line with same-sex marriage ruling". July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Mapp: Same Sex Couples ‘Can Be Married’ in the V.I., Territory Must Comply with Court Ruling - stcroixsource.com". St. Croix Source. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]