Gay rights in America: How states stand on gay marriage and 6 other issues
The tapestry of federal and state laws surrounding gay rights is enormously complex. Here is a look at each state's laws regarding issues ranging from gay marriage to hate crimes to hospital visitation.
• Federal: No statutes.
• States: The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents vary widely among states, and laws regarding adoption are often unclear. All states allow a single individual – regardless of sexual orientation – the right to petition to adopt a child, but fewer than half allow a same-sex couple to petition for joint adoption, and some have banned adoption by same-sex parents. Many states restrict adoption by sexual orientation or marital status, and because mostly local courts handle adoptions, some judges may accept or deny petitions from other judges in the same state, causing ambiguous rights for same-sex parents.
Full rights (19)
Same-sex couples are allowed to petition for joint adoption:
-District of Columbia
Some rights (51)
All US states and the District of Columbia allow a single individual, gay or not, the right to petition to adopt a child.
No rights (3)
Ban same-sex couples from petitioning for a joint adoption:
Making a Difference