Subscribe

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 intricate. Here is a look at each state's laws on issues ranging from gay marriage to hate crimes to discrimination. 

1. Marriage

  • close
    National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown stands in front of projected election results in Raleigh, N.C., for the passage of a North Carolina constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

(Updated June 13, 2013)

• Federal: The federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage or extend to any same-sex couples the 1,138 rights afforded to married couples in the US by the federal government, as tallied by the United States Government Accountability Office.

• States: Some states do recognize marriage or offer some rights to same-sex couples. The majority of US states have legally defined marriage to be between a man and a woman or amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. 

Full rights (12 states and D.C.)
Marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in these states carry identical benefits and rights of heterosexual married couples:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware (as of July 1, 2013)
  • District of Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota (as of August 1, 2013)
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Rhode Island (as of August 1, 2013)
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Full spousal rights within the state (7 states and D.C.)

These states provide gay couples with the same rights, protections, responsibilities, and benefits that the states give to heterosexual married couples. Many gay-rights activists argue that civil unions and domestic partnerships nonetheless causes the public to perceive them as something less than marriage. Supporters defend them as the most realistic goal in states resistant to gay marriage.

  • California* (domestic partnerships)
  • Colorado* (civil unions)
  • District of Columbia (domestic partnerships)
  • Hawaii* (civil unions)
  • Illinois* (civil unions)
  • Nevada* (domestic partnerships)
  • New Jersey (civil unions)
  • Oregon* (domestic partnerships)

*These states ban same-sex marriage.

Some spousal rights within the state (1 state)

  • Wisconsin*

*These states ban same-sex marriage.

No rights (30 states)
Prohibit marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, or have no or unclear laws on same-sex marriage:

1 of 7

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK