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Marriage & Relationship Recognition Laws

United States Map
Marriage equality for same-sex couples (34 states + D.C.)
Comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership law (6 states + D.C.)
Ruling in favor of marriage equality from appellate courts. Marriage available to same-sex couples pending further action (1 state)
Out-of-state marriages recognized, but same-sex couples may not marry in-state (1 state)
No legal recognition for same-sex couples (14 states)
NOTE: For additional information, contact Freedom to Marry, Lambda Legal, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders or ACLU LGBT Rights Project. Laws allowing same-sex couples to marry can also benefit bisexual and transgender people in same-sex relationships. A number of same-sex couples were married in Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri during brief periods in 2013 and 2014. These marriages are recognized by the federal government, but couples cannot currently marry in these states pending legal challenges. For more information on marriage equality litigation proceeding in a number of states, see Freedom to Marry's Analysis.


Additionally, several Native American jurisdictions extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. These jurisdictions are federally recognized sovereign nations and therefore can create their own policies around same-sex partnerships. The following is a list of Native American nations that have legalized same-sex marriage followed by the year in which the ruling was made. Several nations passed laws to offer the freedom to marry, whereas others have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on a reinterpretation of tribal codes. For more information please see: NativeOut ​​
  • The Coquille Tribe in Oregon (2009)
  • The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in Connecticut (2010)
  • The Suquamish Tribe in Washington (2011)
  • The Tribal Council of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan (2013)
  • The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan (2013)
  • The Santa Ysabel Tribe in California (2013)
  • The Colville Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation in Washington (2013)
  • The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma (2013)
  • The Leech Lake Tribal Court in Minnesota (2013)
  • The Puyallup Tribe in Washington (2014)

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

64% of LGBT population lives in states with marriage equality for same-sex couples 13% of LGBT population lives in states with comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws 3% of LGBT population lives in states with pending same-sex marriage decisions 2% of LGBT population lives in states where out-of-state marriages are recognized, but same-sex couples may not marry in-state 31% of LGBT population lives in states with no legal recognition for same-sex couples
United States Map
Constitutional amendment bans marriage and other forms of relationship recognition similar to marriage for same-sex couples (13 states)
Constitutional amendment bans marriage for same-sex couples (3 states)
Statute bans marriage and other forms of relationship recognition similar to marriage for same-sex couples (3 states)
Statute bans marriage for same-sex couples (13 states)
No legal ban on marriage or relationship recognition (34 states + D.C.)
NOTE: States are shaded to reflect the law that most limits the ability of couples to be legally recognized. See the table below to see which states have multiple laws. For additional information, contact Freedom to Marry, Lambda Legal, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders or ACLU LGBT Rights Project. Laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex couples' relationship can also harm bisexual and transgender people in same-sex relationships. For more information on marriage equality litigation proceeding in a number of states, see Lambda Legal's analysis.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

32% of LGBT population lives in states with constitutional amendments banning marriage and any form of relationship recognition 4% of LGBT population lives in states with constitutional amendments banning marriage 18% of LGBT population lives in states with statutes banning marriage and any form of relationship recognition 26% of LGBT population lives in states with statutes banning marriage 59% of LGBT population lives in states with no legal ban on marriage or relationship recognition
Indicates a positive law for same-sex couples
State Marriage Comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership law Ruling in favor of marriage equality from appellate courts. Marriage available to same-sex couples pending further action Out-of-state marriages recognized, but same-sex couples may not marry in-state Year Passed
Total 34 states + D.C. 6 states + D.C. 1 state 1 state
Alabama
Alaska 2014
Arizona 2014
Arkansas
California 2013
Colorado 2013 (civil unions); 2014 (marriage)
Connecticut 2008
Delaware 2013
District of Columbia 2010 (marriage); 2006 (domestic partnership)
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii 2012, 2013
Idaho 2014
Illinois 2011 (civil unions); 2013 (marriage)
Indiana 2014
Iowa 2009
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine 2012
Maryland 2012
Massachusetts 2004
Michigan
Minnesota 2013
Mississippi
Missouri 2014
Montana 2014
Nebraska
Nevada 2009 (civil unions); 2014 (marriage)
New Hampshire 2010
New Jersey 2007 (civil unions); 2013 (marriage)
New Mexico 2013
New York 2011
North Carolina 2014
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma 2014
Oregon 2008 (domestic partnership); 2013 (out-of-state marriages); 2014 (marriage)
Pennsylvania 2014
Rhode Island 2013
South Carolina 2014
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah 2014
Vermont 2009
Virginia 2014
Washington 2012
West Virginia 2014
Wisconsin 2014
Wyoming 2014
Indicates a negative law for same-sex couples
State Constitutional amendment bans marriage and relationship recognition for same-sex couples Constitutional amendment bans marriage for same-sex couples Statute bans marriage and relationship recognition for same-sex couples Statute bans marriage for same-sex couples Year Passed
Total 13 states 3 states 3 states 13 states
Alabama 1998 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Alaska 1997 (Statute); 1998 (Amendment)
Arizona 1996 (Statute); 2008 (Amendment)
Arkansas 1997 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
California
Colorado 2000 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida 1997 (Statute); 2008 (Amendment)
Georgia 1996 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Hawaii
Idaho 1996 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Illinois
Indiana 1997
Iowa
Kansas 1996 (Statute); 2005 (Amendment)
Kentucky 1998 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Louisiana 1999 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan 1996 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Minnesota
Mississippi 1997 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Missouri 2001 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Montana
Nebraska 2000
Nevada 2002
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina 1996 (Statute); 2012 (Amendment)
North Dakota 1997 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Ohio 2004 (Statute & Amendment)
Oklahoma 1996 (Statute); 2004 (Amendment)
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota 1996 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Tennessee 1996 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Texas 1997 (Statute); 2003 (Statute); 2005 (Amendment)
Utah 1995 (Statute); 2004 (Statute & Amendment)
Vermont
Virginia 1997 (Statute); 2004 (Statute); 2006 (Amendment)
Washington
West Virginia 2000
Wisconsin 2006
Wyoming 1977


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Data current as of 11/21/2014