Gay marriage in the US: six ways states differ on the issue

Take a look at where states currently stand on gay marriage in the US.

3. Grant nearly all or some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships)

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, second from left, receives a kiss from her domestic partner Jocelynn White, left, after signing their official documents during the launch of the city's new domestic partnership registry program as Mayor Buddy Dyer, right, served as notary in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012. The registry gives non-married couples, both gay and heterosexual, some of the same rights as married couples in matters such as hospital visitation and healthcare decisions.

While similar to marriage, a domestic partnership does not necessarily grant the 1,138 rights afforded to married couples in the US by the federal government, as tallied by the United States Government Accountability Office. Furthermore, domestic partnerships are determined by each state or local jurisdiction, so there is no nationwide consistency on the rights, responsibilities and benefits afforded to domestic partners. 

Nearly all:

District of Columbia

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