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Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States

Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States

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Encyclopedia
In response to court action in a number of states, the United States federal government and a number of state legislatures passed or attempted to pass legislation either prohibiting or allowing same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 or other types of same-sex union
Same-sex union
Same-sex unions are legal or religious unions between two persons of the same sex.In legal contexts, their recognition varies based upon the region in which the union is formed. Some regions allow same-sex marriage, civil marriage between two persons of the same sex. Others recognize civil unions...

s.

Federal level


In 1996, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 passed and President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 signed Public Law 106-199, the Defense of Marriage Act
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no U.S. state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state...

. The Act defines "marriage" and "spouse" for purposes of federal law.

The impact of the second part of the Act is less clear. Traditionally, states have been allowed to regulate the marital status of their own citizens. A narrow interpretation of the Act only codifies this policy. The Act was arguably passed out of concern that same-sex couples from all over the U.S. would fly to Hawaii, get married, and demand recognition in their home states (although Hawaii ultimately never allowed same-sex marriage).

A broad reading of the Act would allow states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages of non-citizens, as well. For example, a same-sex couple from Massachusetts might get married in Massachusetts, and later move to another state, where the state would have no obligation to recognize the marriage. The Act may also mean that the state could refuse to recognize the marriage even if the couple were only passing through transiently (relevant, for example, in emergency medical decision-making), and not moving permanently. Either of these broader readings would be an exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause
Full Faith and Credit Clause
The Full Faith and Credit Clause is the familiar name used to refer to Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, which addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." According to...

.

On March 16, 2011, companion bills were introduced by House and Senate Democrats to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The bills are named the Respect for Marriage Act
Respect for Marriage Act
The Respect for Marriage Act, or RFMA , is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow the U.S. federal government to provide benefits to couples in a same-sex marriage; the bill would not compel individual states to recognize same-sex...


Efforts to enable same-sex unions


Votes by state legislatures to recognize various types of same-sex unions, sorted by date:
State Date Type of same-sex union Upper House Lower house Governor Final
outcome
Yes No Yes No
District of Columbia June 1992 Domestic partnership (limited) Passed Signed
 Yes
California September 1994 Domestic partnership (limited) 21 17 41 26 Vetoed
 No
Hawaii
Recognition of same-sex unions in Hawaii
The U.S. state of Hawaii currently recognizes same-sex couples in reciprocal beneficiary relationships, which provide limited rights and benefits. Civil unions that provide benefits similar to marriage were legalized in 2011, and will become available in 2012...

March 1996 Domestic partnership (limited) 14 11 Failed -
 No
Hawaii June 1997 Reciprocal beneficiary relationship 24 7 43 27 Signed
 Yes
California September 1998 Domestic partnership (limited) 21 17 41 36 Vetoed
 No
California October 1999 Domestic partnership (limited) 23 13 41 38 Vetoed
 No
California October 1999 Domestic partnership (limited) 22 14 41 36 Signed
 Yes
Vermont April 2000 Civil union 19 11 79 68 Signed
 Yes
California August 2001 Domestic partnership (expansion) 22 12 41 27 Signed
 Yes
California October 2001 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 11 41 32 Signed
 Yes
California September 2002 Domestic partnership (expansion) 26 11 41 31 Signed
 Yes
California September 2002 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 13 43 27 Signed
 Yes
California September 2003 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 14 41 33 Signed
 Yes
New Jersey January 2004 Domestic partnership (limited) 23 9 41 28 Signed
 Yes
Maine
Domestic partnership in Maine
Domestic partnerships were established in the state of Maine by statute in April 2004, taking effect on 30 July 2004. This placed Maine in the category of U.S. states that offer limited recognition of same-sex relationships, but not all of the legal protections of marriage...

April 2004 Domestic partnership (limited) 19 14 84 58 Signed
 Yes
California September 2004 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 12 46 29 Signed
 Yes
Utah February 2005 Reciprocal beneficiary relationship 10 18 - - -
 No
Connecticut
Same-sex marriage in Connecticut
Connecticut joined Massachusetts as one of two states in the U.S. to perform marriages of same-sex couples on November 12, 2008. Connecticut was the third state to do so, but only the second where the decision was not repealed.-Civil union:...

April 2005 Civil union 27 9 85 63 Signed
 Yes
Maryland May 2005 Domestic partnership (limited) 31 16 83 50 Vetoed
 No
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

June 2005 Same-sex marriage - - 37 36 -
 No
Oregon
Domestic partnership in Oregon
In April and May 2007, following a previous attempt in 2005, the Oregon state legislature passed legislation to make virtually all of the rights afforded to married couples available to same-sex couples. The new status will be referred to in Oregon law as a domestic partnership, avoiding the use...

July 2005 Civil union 19 10 - - -
 No
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

September 2005 Same-sex marriage 21 15 41 35 Vetoed
 No
California September 2005 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 15 47 28 Signed
 Yes
California September 2005 Domestic partnership (expansion) 21 14 47 32 Signed
 Yes
District of Columbia April 2006 Domestic partnership (expansion) Passed Signed
 Yes
California September 2006 Domestic partnership (expansion) 24 15 46 29 Signed
 Yes
California September 2006 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 15 47 31 Signed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

November 2006 Domestic partnership Voter Referendum (47% to 53%)
 No
New Jersey December 2006 Civil union 23 12 56 19 Signed
 Yes
Washington
Domestic partnership in Washington
State Registered Domestic Partnerships in Washington were created in the aftermath of the Andersen v. King County decision. Subsequent legislation has made a SRDP the equivalent of marriage under state law.-Beginnings:...

April 2007 Domestic partnership (limited) 28 19 63 35 Signed
 Yes
Oregon
Domestic partnership in Oregon
In April and May 2007, following a previous attempt in 2005, the Oregon state legislature passed legislation to make virtually all of the rights afforded to married couples available to same-sex couples. The new status will be referred to in Oregon law as a domestic partnership, avoiding the use...

May 2007 Domestic partnership 21 9 34 26 Signed
 Yes
New Hampshire May 2007 Civil union 14 10 243 129 Signed
 Yes
New York
Same-sex marriage in New York
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed on June 24, 2011, by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day...

June 2007 Same-sex marriage - - 85 61 -
 No
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

September 2007 Same-sex marriage 22 15 42 34 Vetoed
 No
California October 2007 Domestic partnership (expansion) Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
New Mexico January 2008 Domestic partnership - - 33 31 -
 No
Washington
Domestic partnership in Washington
State Registered Domestic Partnerships in Washington were created in the aftermath of the Andersen v. King County decision. Subsequent legislation has made a SRDP the equivalent of marriage under state law.-Beginnings:...

March 2008 Domestic partnership (expansion) 29 20 62 32 Signed
 Yes
Maryland May 2008 Domestic partnership (limited) 39 19 44 39 Signed
 Yes
District of Columbia May 2008 Domestic partnership (expansion) Passed Signed
 Yes
New Mexico February 2009 Domestic partnership 17 25 - - -
 No
Vermont April 2009 Same-sex marriage 23 5 100 49 Vetoed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

April 2009 Designated beneficiary agreement 23 10 41 24 Signed
 Yes
Connecticut
Same-sex marriage in Connecticut
Connecticut joined Massachusetts as one of two states in the U.S. to perform marriages of same-sex couples on November 12, 2008. Connecticut was the third state to do so, but only the second where the decision was not repealed.-Civil union:...

April 2009 Same-sex marriage (codification) 28 7 100 44 Signed
 Yes
Maine
Same-sex marriage in Maine
Same-sex marriage in Maine is currently unrecognized. A bill to allow same-sex marriages in Maine was signed into law on May 6, 2009, by Governor Baldacci following legislative approval, but opponents successfully petitioned for a referendum on the issue, putting the law on hold before it went into...

May 2009 Same-sex marriage 21 14 89 58 Signed
 No
District of Columbia May 2009 Same-sex marriage (recognition only) Passed Signed
 Yes
Washington
Domestic partnership in Washington
State Registered Domestic Partnerships in Washington were created in the aftermath of the Andersen v. King County decision. Subsequent legislation has made a SRDP the equivalent of marriage under state law.-Beginnings:...

May 2009 Domestic partnership (expansion) 30 18 62 35 Signed
 Yes
Nevada
Recognition of same-sex unions in Nevada
Same-sex marriage in Nevada was banned in 2002 through Question 2, an amendment to the Constitution of Nevada, which passed with almost 67 percent of the vote. In 2009, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill to create legal recognition of same-sex unions in Nevada...

May 2009 Domestic partnership 14 7 28 14 Vetoed
 Yes
New Hampshire June 2009 Same-sex marriage 14 10 198 176 Signed
 Yes
Oregon
Domestic partnership in Oregon
In April and May 2007, following a previous attempt in 2005, the Oregon state legislature passed legislation to make virtually all of the rights afforded to married couples available to same-sex couples. The new status will be referred to in Oregon law as a domestic partnership, avoiding the use...

June 2009 Domestic partnership (expansion) 27 0 41 8 Signed
 Yes
Wisconsin
Recognition of same-sex unions in Wisconsin
Domestic partnerships for same-sex couples have been recognized in Wisconsin since August 3, 2009 despite same-sex marriage and "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals" being banned by Wisconsin statutes and a constitutional amendment in...

June 2009 Domestic partnership (limited) 17 16 50 48 Signed
 Yes
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

October 2009 Out-of-state pre-proposition 8
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

 marriage recognition
24 14 44 27 Signed
 Yes
New York
Same-sex marriage in New York
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed on June 24, 2011, by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day...

December 2009 Same-sex marriage 24 38 89 52 -
 No
District of Columbia December 2009 Same-sex marriage n/a 11 2 Signed
 Yes
Rhode Island January 2010 Domestic partnership (only 1 entitlement) 31 3 67 3 Vetoed
 Yes
New Jersey January 2010 Same-sex marriage 14 20 - - -
 No
Minnesota
Recognition of same-sex unions in Minnesota
Minnesota has legalized neither same-sex marriages nor civil unions. Same-sex marriage is banned by statute, passed by the legislature in 1997 shortly after passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act....

May 2010 Domestic partnership (only 1 entitlement) 41 24 78 55 Vetoed
 No
Hawaii
Hawaii House Bill 444
House Bill 444 was a 2009 bill of the Hawaii State Legislature, passed in April 2010 and vetoed by Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle, that would have legalized civil unions for couples in the state of Hawaii...

July 2010 Civil union 18 7 31 20 Vetoed
 No
New York
Same-sex marriage in New York
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed on June 24, 2011, by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day...

July 2010 Domestic partnership (only 1 entitlement) 50 11 127 26 Signed
 Yes
California September 2010 Domestic partnership (expansion) 23 12 53 24 Signed
 Yes
Illinois January 2011 Civil union 32 24 61 52 Signed
 Yes
Hawaii
Recognition of same-sex unions in Hawaii
The U.S. state of Hawaii currently recognizes same-sex couples in reciprocal beneficiary relationships, which provide limited rights and benefits. Civil unions that provide benefits similar to marriage were legalized in 2011, and will become available in 2012...

February 2011 Civil union 18 5 31 19 Signed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

March 2011 Civil union 23 12 - - -
 No
Washington
Domestic partnership in Washington
State Registered Domestic Partnerships in Washington were created in the aftermath of the Andersen v. King County decision. Subsequent legislation has made a SRDP the equivalent of marriage under state law.-Beginnings:...

April 2011 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex union as domestic partnership 28 19 58 39 Signed
 Yes
Delaware
LGBT rights in Delaware
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Delaware have many legal protections, though transgender persons lack certain protections. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Delaware...

May 2011 Civil union 13 6 26 15 Signed
 Yes
New York
Same-sex marriage in New York
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed on June 24, 2011, by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day...

June 2011 Same-sex marriage 33 29 80 63 Signed
 Yes
Rhode Island July 2011 Civil union 21 16 62 11 Signed
 Yes
California September 2011 Domestic partnership (expansion) 22 13 52 25 Signed
 Yes
California October 2011 Domestic partnership (expansion) 25 15 Passed Signed
 Yes
California October 2011 Domestic partnership (expansion) 24 13 Passed Signed
 Yes
Maryland 2012 Same-sex marriage 25 21 Pending ...
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

2012 Civil union Proposed ... ... ...
Washington
Same-sex marriage in Washington
Same-sex marriage is not recognized as marriage in Washington state. The Washington Supreme Court would have made Washington the second U.S. state to recognize these unions if it had decided differently in two cases that had been consolidated for appeal...

2012 Same-sex marriage ... ... Proposed ...
Rhode Island 2012 Same-sex marriage Proposed Proposed ...

Notes:
Veto overridden.People's Veto (Maine Question 1, 2009
Maine Question 1, 2009
Maine Question 1 was a voter referendum conducted in Maine in 2009 that repealed a state law that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The measure passed 53%-47% on November 3, 2009.-State law in question:...

)Upheld with 53 percent approval on Washington Referendum 71 (2009)
Washington Referendum 71 (2009)
Referendum 71 was a vote held in 2009 in which the people of Washington state confirmed Senate Bill 5688, a law extending the rights and obligations of domestic partnership in Washington...

.

Efforts to prohibit same-sex unions


Votes by state legislatures to prohibit recognition of various types of same-sex unions, sorted by date:
State Date Type of same-sex union Upper House Lower house Governor Final
outcome
Yes No Yes No
Maryland
Same-sex marriage in Maryland
The U.S. state of Maryland does not currently perform same-sex marriage. In 2004, supporters of same-sex marriage filed a lawsuit, Deane & Polyak v. Conaway, which sought to allow these unions to occur in the state...

May 1973 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Florida
LGBT rights in Florida
LGBT people in the U.S. state of Florida face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.- Law regarding same-sex sexual activity :...

June 1977 Same-sex marriage 37 0 101 11 Signed
 Yes
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

August 1977 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Wyoming
LGBT rights in Wyoming
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Wyoming may face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents...

October 1977 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Hawaii
Recognition of same-sex unions in Hawaii
The U.S. state of Hawaii currently recognizes same-sex couples in reciprocal beneficiary relationships, which provide limited rights and benefits. Civil unions that provide benefits similar to marriage were legalized in 2011, and will become available in 2012...

June 1994 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Utah March 1995 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Idaho
LGBT rights in Idaho
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Idaho face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Idaho. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples do not have the same protections as opposite-sex...

March 1996 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 28 4 59 6 Signed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

March 1996 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Vetoed
 No
Kansas
LGBT rights in Kansas
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Kansas face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Kansas. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples do not have the same protections as opposite-sex...

April 1996 Same-sex marriage 39 1 Passed Signed
 Yes
Alaska
LGBT rights in Alaska
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Alaska face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Alaska...

May 1996 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Not Signed
 Yes
Illinois May 1996 Same-sex marriage 42 9 87 13 Signed
 Yes
South Carolina
LGBT rights in South Carolina
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of South Carolina face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in South Carolina...

May 1996 Same-sex marriage Passed 82 0 Signed
 Yes
Michigan
LGBT rights in Michigan
The Michigan constitution bans same-sex marriage and places restrictions towards the forming of same-sex unions.- Laws against same-sex intimate contact :...

June 1996 Same-sex marriage 31 2 88 14 Signed
 Yes
Michigan
LGBT rights in Michigan
The Michigan constitution bans same-sex marriage and places restrictions towards the forming of same-sex unions.- Laws against same-sex intimate contact :...

June 1996 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage Passed 74 28 Signed
 Yes
Delaware
LGBT rights in Delaware
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Delaware have many legal protections, though transgender persons lack certain protections. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Delaware...

June 1996 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
North Carolina
LGBT rights in North Carolina
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of North Carolina face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in North Carolina...

June 1996 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 41 4 98 10 Signed
 Yes
Missouri
LGBT rights in Missouri
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Missouri face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Missouri...

July 1996 Same-sex marriage 29 2 131 10 Signed
 Yes
California
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

August 1996 Same-sex marriage 20 21 Passed -
 No
Pennsylvania
LGBT rights in Pennsylvania
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Pennsylvania...

October 1996 Same-sex marriage 43 5 189 13 Signed
 Yes
Mississippi
LGBT rights in Mississippi
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Mississippi face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Mississippi...

February 1997 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Washington
Same-sex marriage in Washington
Same-sex marriage is not recognized as marriage in Washington state. The Washington Supreme Court would have made Washington the second U.S. state to recognize these unions if it had decided differently in two cases that had been consolidated for appeal...

February 1997 Same-sex marriage 33 15 63 35 Vetoed
 No
Maine
Same-sex marriage in Maine
Same-sex marriage in Maine is currently unrecognized. A bill to allow same-sex marriages in Maine was signed into law on May 6, 2009, by Governor Baldacci following legislative approval, but opponents successfully petitioned for a referendum on the issue, putting the law on hold before it went into...

March 1997 Same-sex marriage 24 10 106 39 Not Signed
 Yes
Florida
Recognition of same-sex unions in Florida
Under current Florida law, same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are not recognized. Same-sex marriage and civil unions were constitutionally banned on November 6, 2008 with 62% of the vote...

May 1997 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 33 5 97 19 Not Signed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

June 1997 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Vetoed
 No
Washington
Same-sex marriage in Washington
Same-sex marriage is not recognized as marriage in Washington state. The Washington Supreme Court would have made Washington the second U.S. state to recognize these unions if it had decided differently in two cases that had been consolidated for appeal...

February 1998 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Vetoed
 Yes
West Virginia
LGBT rights in West Virginia
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the U.S. state of West Virginia face legal challenges even though homosexual activity is legal in West Virginia. Same-sex couples are not eligible for many of the protections available to heterosexual married couples.- Recognition of same-sex...

March 2000 Same-sex marriage Passed 96 3 Signed
 Yes
Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado
Recognition of same-sex unions in Colorado occurs within the framework of designated beneficiary agreements, effectual since July 1, 2009. These agreements grant limited rights, such as funeral arrangements and death benefits for same-sex partners...

May 2000 Same-sex marriage Passed 37 28 Signed
 Yes
Missouri
LGBT rights in Missouri
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Missouri face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Missouri...

July 2001 Same-sex marriage Passed Passed Signed
 Yes
Wisconsin
Recognition of same-sex unions in Wisconsin
Domestic partnerships for same-sex couples have been recognized in Wisconsin since August 3, 2009 despite same-sex marriage and "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals" being banned by Wisconsin statutes and a constitutional amendment in...

November 2003 Same-sex marriage 22 10 68 29 Vetoed
 No
Ohio
LGBT rights in Ohio
- Recognition of same-sex relationships :In 2004, voters approved a constitutional amendment, Ohio State Issue 1, that banned same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state. It passed with 62% of the vote. Domestic partnership registries were not affected, and several claims from supporters of...

February 2004 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 72 22 18 15 Signed
 Yes
Wyoming
LGBT rights in Wyoming
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Wyoming may face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents...

February 2007 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 21 8 - - -
 No
Wyoming
LGBT rights in Wyoming
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the U.S. state of Wyoming may face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents...

March 2011 Recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage 14 16 31 28 -
 No

Notes:
Veto overridden.

Attempts to establish same-sex unions via initiative or statewide referendum

State Intended date Same-sex union Description Outcome
Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

November 2006 Domestic partnership In 2006, an amendment that would have established domestic partnerships
Colorado Referendum I (2006)
Referendum I was a proposed law which would have established domestic partnerships in the U.S. state of Colorado. The bill was passed by the Colorado General Assembly and was submitted to popular referendum during general elections on November 7, 2006....

 in Colorado was placed on the ballot after a vote from both houses. It was narrowly defeated by a vote of 53%-47%.
No
Washington
Washington Referendum 71 (2009)
Referendum 71 was a vote held in 2009 in which the people of Washington state confirmed Senate Bill 5688, a law extending the rights and obligations of domestic partnership in Washington...

November 2009 Domestic partnership
(expansion)
In November 2009, Washington voted to uphold an "Everything but Marriage" expansion to the domestic partnership law. It passed narrowly with 53% in favor and 47% opposed.
 Yes
Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

November 2012 Marriage Advocates In Maine Working To Change Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage. They would need 57,000 signatures by the end of next January to get it on the ballot.

Efforts to ban same-sex unions by constitutional amendment



The following table shows all popular vote results regarding state constitutional amendments concerning same-sex marriage, and in some cases civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Hawaii amendment is different in that it granted the legislature authority to "reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples" (which the legislature had already done).
State Initiative Ban on Date
 Yes vote
 No vote
Final
outcome
1998:
Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

Ballot Measure 2
Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (1998)
Ballot Measure 2 of 1998 is a ballot measure that added an amendment to the Alaska Constitution that prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriage in Alaska. The Ballot measure was sparked by the lawsuit filed by Jay Brause and Gene Dugan, after the two men were denied a marriage license by the...

Marriage November 1998 68% (152,965) 32% (71,631)
 Yes
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

Constitutional Amendment 2
Hawaii Constitutional Amendment 2 (1998)
Constitutional Amendment 2 of 1998 amended the Constitution of Hawaii, granting the state legislature the power to prevent same-sex marriage from being conducted or recognized in Hawaii. Amendment 2 was the first constitutional amendment adopted in the United States that specifically targeted...

Marriage ban
permitted
November 1998 69% (285,384) 31% (117,827)
 Yes
2000:
Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

Initiative Measure 416
Nebraska Initiative Measure 416 (2000)
Nebraska Initiative Measure 416 of 2000 is a ballot initiative that amended the Nebraska Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 70% of the voters....

Marriage,
civil union and
domestic partnership
November 2000 70% (450,073) 30% (189,555)
 Yes
2002:
Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

Question 2
Nevada Question 2 (2002)
Question 2 of 2002 is a ballot measure that amended the Nevada Constitution by adding a definition of marriage that prevented same-sex marriages from being conducted or recognized in Nevada...

Marriage November 2002 67% (337,183) 33% (164,555)
 Yes
2004:
Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

Constitutional Amendment 3
Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
Constitutional Amendment 3 of 2004, is an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 75% of the voters....

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 75% (753,770) 25% (251,914)
 Yes
Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

Constitutional Amendment 1
Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 (2004)
Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 of 2004, is an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 76% of the voters....

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 76% (2,454,912) 24% (768,703)
 Yes
Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

Constitutional Amendment 1
Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1 (2004)
Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1 of 2004, is an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 75% of the voters....

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 75% (1,222,125) 25% (417,097)
 Yes
Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

Constitutional Amendment 1
Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1 (2004)
Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1 of 2004, is an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 78% of the voters....

Marriage and
civil union
September 2004 78% (618,928) 22% (177,103)
 Yes
Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

State Proposal - 04-2 Marriage,
civil union and
domestic partnership
November 2004 59% (2,698,077) 41% (1,904,319)
 Yes
Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

Amendment 1
Mississippi Amendment 1 (2004)
Amendment 1 of 2004 is an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution that prohibited same-sex marriages from being conducted or recognized in Mississippi...

Marriage November 2004 86% (957,104) 14% (155,648)
 Yes
Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

Constitutional Amendment 2
Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2 (2004)
Constitutional Amendment 2 of 2004 is an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that prohibited same-sex marriages from being conducted or recognized in Missouri. The Amendment passed via public referendum on August 3, 2004 with 71% of voters supporting and 29% opposing. Every county voted in...

Marriage August 2004 71% (1,055,771) 29% (439,529)
 Yes
Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

Initiative 96
Montana Initiative 96 (2004)
Initiative 96 of 2004 is a ballot initiative that amended the Montana Constitution to prevent same-sex marriages from being conducted or recognized in Montana...

Marriage November 2004 67% (295,070) 33% (148,263)
 Yes
North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

Constitutional Measure 1
North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1 of 2004, is an amendment to the North Dakota Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 73% of the voters....

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 73% (223,572) 27% (81,716)
 Yes
Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

State Issue 1
Ohio State Issue 1 (2004)
Ohio State Issue 1 of 2004, is a ballot measure that amended the Ohio Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 62% (3,329,335) 38% (2,065,462)
 Yes
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

State Question 711
Oklahoma State Question 711 (2004)
Oklahoma State Question 711 of 2004, is an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 76 percent of the voters...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 76% (1,075,216) 24% (347,303)
 Yes
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

Measure 36
Oregon Ballot Measure 36 (2004)
Ballot Measure 36 was a 2004 initiative in the U.S. state of Oregon. It amended the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The initiative passed with 1,028,546 votes in favor, and 787,556 votes against in the November 2, 2004 general election.It is one of a...

Marriage November 2004 57% (1,028,546) 43% (787,556)
 Yes
Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

Constitutional Amendment 3
Utah Constitutional Amendment 3
Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 is an amendment to the Utah state constitution that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and woman...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2004 66% (593,297) 34% (307,488)
 Yes
2005:
Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

Proposed amendment 1
Kansas proposed amendment 1 (2005)
Kansas Proposed Amendment 1 of 2005 is an amendment to the Kansas Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 70% of the voters.The amendment states:...

Marriage and
civil union
April 2005 70% (414,106) 30% (178,018)
 Yes
Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

Proposition 2
Texas proposition 2 (2005)
Texas Proposition 2 of 2005 created an amendment that limits marriage to opposite-sex relationships and prohibits alternative legal arrangements of a similar nature. The bill intended to amend the Texas Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2005 76% (1,718,513) 24% (536,052)
 Yes
2006:
Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

Sanctity of Marriage Amendment
Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment
The Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment of 2006, also known as Amendment 774, is an amendment to the Alabama Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions...

Marriage and
civil union
June 2006 81% (734,746) 19% (170,399)
 Yes
Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

Proposition 107 Marriage and
civil union
November 2006 48% (721,489) 52% (775,498)
 No
Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

Amendment 43
Colorado Amendment 43 (2006)
Amendment 43 proposes adding a new section to Article II of the Colorado Constitution that defines marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman.Recognized marriages in Colorado would be:# only between a man and a woman...

Marriage November 2006 56% (768,700) 44% (612,155)
 Yes
Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

Amendment 2
Idaho Amendment 2 (2006)
Idaho Amendment 2 of 2006 is an amendment to the Idaho Constitution that made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2006 63% (281,823) 37% (163,191)
 Yes
South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

Amendment 1
South Carolina Amendment 1 (2006)
South Carolina Amendment 1 of 2006 amended the South Carolina Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the U.S. state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 78% of voters...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2006 78% (818,894) 22% (230,674)
 Yes
South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

Amendment C
South Dakota Amendment C (2006)
South Dakota Amendment C of 2006 is an amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages, or to recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships, or other quasi-marital relationships regardless of gender...

Marriage,
civil union and
domestic partnership
November 2006 52% (172,237) 48% (160,756)
 Yes
Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

Amendment 1 Marriage November 2006 81% (1,417,315) 19% (326,335)
 Yes
Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

Marshall-Newman Amendment
Marshall-Newman Amendment
The Marshall-Newman Amendment also referred to as the Virginia Marriage Amendment is an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia that defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman and bans recognition of any legal status "approximat[ing] the design, qualities, significance, or effects...

Marriage,
civil union and
domestic partnership
November 2006 57% (1,325,668) 43% (1,003,967)
 Yes
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

Referendum 1
Wisconsin Referendum 1 (2006)
Wisconsin Referendum 1 of 2006 was a referendum on an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would invalidate same-sex marriages or civil unions in the state. The referendum was approved by 59% of voters during the general elections in November 2006...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2006 59% (1,260,554) 41% (861,554)
 Yes
2008:
Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

Proposition 102
Arizona Proposition 102 (2008)
Arizona Proposition 102 was an amendment to the constitution of the state of Arizona adopted by a referendum held in 2008. It added Article 30 of the Arizona Constitution, which says:"Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."- Overview :On...

Marriage November 2008 56% (1,258,355) 44% (980,753)
 Yes
California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

Proposition 8
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

Marriage November 2008 52% (7,001,084) 48% (6,401,482)
 Yes
Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

Amendment 2
Florida Amendment 2
Florida Amendment 2 was an amendment made to the Constitution of Florida in 2008. It added Article I, Section 27 to the constitution, which defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman, and thus bans the creation of similar unions, such as civil unions or same-sex...

Marriage and
civil union
November 2008 62% (4,890,883) 38% (3,008,026)
 Yes
2012:
North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

SB 514 Marriage,
civil union and
domestic partnership
May 2012 TBD TBD ...
Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

SF 1308 Marriage November 2012 TBD TBD ...

Notes:
Does not explicitly define marriage, but allows the legislature to define marriage.
Ban declared unconstitutional by Judge Joseph Bataillon, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. The ruling was appealed to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis. That Court issued a ruling that re-instated the ban, declaring in part that it was a legitimate state interest.
On October 6, 2004 a Louisiana district judge tossed out the approved amendment saying it addressed two subjects: marriage and civil unions. Shortly after, the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously overturned that ruling and found the amendment valid.
Ban declared unconstitutional on May 16, 2006 by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell, who said it violated the single-subject rule in Georgia's constitution. Governor Sonny Perdue said he was disappointed by the decision, which he said ran contrary to the voice of Georgia voters. The following day, the ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia. On July 6, 2006 the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the ban did not violate the single-subject rule.
Ban declared unconstitutional pending appeal on August 4, 2010 by Judge Vaughn R. Walker
Vaughn R. Walker
Vaughn R. Walker served as a district judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1989 to 2011.-Biography:Walker was born in Watseka, Illinois, in 1944...

, former Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California is the federal United States district court whose jurisdiction comprises following counties of California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San...

.

Recent, pending, or proposed attempts to constitutionally block same-sex unions

State 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Details
Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

2009 The proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage failed. It was known as Senate Bill 27.
Failed
Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 The Indiana State Senate voted 38-10 by Republican party lines for Senate Joint Resolution 13 to approve a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2010 that defines marriage as "1 man and 1 woman" The amendment died in state House. Since 2004 Amendements have been proposed or voted on. The amendment died in state House. Another amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions is expected to be introduced in 2011, since Republicans now have control of both chambers of the state legislature. On 2/15/2011, the Indiana State House approved a ban on Civil Unions and Marriage (70-26). The bill passed the Republican-led Senate by a 40-10 vote. According to state law, the bill must be approved by the next, separately-elected legislatures before voters are allowed to decide its fate. If approved by the next legislature, voters won't see the measure on the ballot until 2014. ...
Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

2004 2005 2010 2011 After the Iowa Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in 2009, a backlash quickly developed that resulted in three of the justices losing their seats in the 2010 election. Additionally, Republicans took control of the state house and fell one seat short of taking over the state senate. Expect the process to initiate a new gay marriage ban to begin sometime next year. Its success lies largely with the Democrat-controlled state senate. For the issue to come before Iowa voters, a proposed constitutional amendment has to be approved in exactly the same form by two consecutive general assemblies.
Failed
Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2011 A bill was sponsored in 2009, but failed to be brought up for a vote. An amendment was introduced again in 2011. The House and Senate bills both flew out of the committee and passed. Both are referred to other area. The bill would have been approved by majority by both the Senate and House by May 23, 2011. On 11 May 2011, the Senate passed the bill by a 38-27 vote. On May 22, 2011, an amendment was passed by the House by a vote of 70-62 and will be on the ballot in November 2012.
 Yes vote
New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

2009 2010 On 17 February 2010, a proposed constitutional amendment failed by a 201-135 margin. Republicans took control of the legislature in 2010 and some of them will likely bring the issue up again in 2012. Constitutional amendments in New Hampshire require 2/3 approval from voters, a tall order on any issue.
Failed
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

2006 2007 2008 2010 Bills to place an amendment on the ballot have all failed in the most recent years. They were all referred to the House or Senate Judiciary Committee where they all failed.
Failed
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 The New Mexico legislature recently introduced four bills that would restrict in-state gay marriage in 2011. All bills were killed by the house committee on February 18, 2011.
Legislation introduced to restrict gay marriage in New Mexico
Failed
North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Several bills have been introduced in both chambers over the last 7-9 years. North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast that hasn’t approved an amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman. A bill was expected to be introduced again in 2011, which it was since Republicans have took control of both chambers of the legislature for the first time in over a century. On September 12, 2011. The North Carolina House passed an amendment called The Defense of Marriage. It passed quickly of a vote 75-42 it passed the senate on September 13, 2011 of a vote 30-16. It took less than 24 hours to pass both chambers. It will be on the ballot box on May 8, 2012.
 Yes vote
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

2006 2008 2009 2010 2011 A joint resolution for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was introduced in the House on May 3, 2011. The bill bans same-sex marriage and civil union. Pennsylvania would become the first northeastern state with a marriage amendment were it to pass. According to state law, the bill must be approved by the next, separately-elected legislatures before voters are allowed to decide its fate. If approved by the next legislature, voters won't see the measure on the ballot until 2014. ...
West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

2009 2010 2011 West Virginia Senate lawmakers have proposed a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2010 that defines marriage as "a union between and man and a woman". The amendment was defeated. Another proposition was introduced in January 2011. Bills were introduced in the Senate and the House, they both have failed to advance because the Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 have control of both houses.
Failed
Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

2007 2009 2011 On February 22, 2007, a bill to prohibit Wyoming from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states was defeated by one vote in a committee of the Wyoming House of Representatives. In 2009, the House of Representatives considered an amendment to the state constitution, House Joint Resolution 17 (aka the "Defense of Marriage" resolution), defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. After an intense, emotional debate on the matter, the measure was defeated in a vote by the full House on February 6, with 35 votes against and 25 in favor. On January 27, 2011, the Senate approved the amendment. However, it died in the House. The Wyoming house does not have the time or the votes in order to pass the bill.
Failed

Efforts to ban same-sex unions by statutory initiative


The following consists of votes by statutory initiatives that ban same-sex marriage and/or civil unions and domestic partnerships:
State Date
 Yes vote
 No vote
Description Final outcome
California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

March 2000 61% (4,618,673) 39% (2,909,370) Proposition 22
California Proposition 22 (2000)
Proposition 22 was a law enacted by California voters in March 2000 to restrict marriages to only those between opposite-sex couples. In May 2008 it was struck down by the California Supreme Court as contrary to the state constitution....

. Amend the Family Code to say: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Yes but ruled unconstitutional.
Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

November 2009 53% (300,848) 47% (267,828) Question 1
Maine Question 1, 2009
Maine Question 1 was a voter referendum conducted in Maine in 2009 that repealed a state law that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The measure passed 53%-47% on November 3, 2009.-State law in question:...

. "People's Veto" of same-sex marriage law passed by the Maine State Legislature and signed into law by Governor John Baldacci.
Yes

Notes:
There is a debate as to whether the adoption of Prop 22 only prohibited California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
In March 2005, Judge Richard Kramer ruled there appeared to be no rational state compelling interest in limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. His ruling was appealed to the California Court of Appeal for the 1st District, which upheld Proposition 22 on October 5, 2006. The Supreme Court of California ruled on May 15, 2008, that Proposition 22 is unconstitutional and it was struck down by the state's highest court.

Efforts to define marriage or other partnerships by state Supreme Court decisions



The following consists of votes by state Supreme Court initiatives that allowed same-sex marriages or partnerships or uphold bans on same-sex marriages:
State Date Vote for Vote against Description Restrictions unconstitutional? Final outcome
Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

October 1971 0 7 Court ruled
Baker v. Nelson
Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson was a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minnesota law limited marriage to different-sex couples and that this limitation did not violate the United States Constitution...

 that Minnesota's marriage statute applied only to opposite-sex couples.
No
No
Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

November 1973 0 7 Court ruled that Kentucky's marriage statute applied only to opposite-sex couples.
 No
 No
Washington October 1974 Failed Washington Supreme Court refused to hear appeal of same-sex couple who were denied a marriage license by their county clerk. Washington Appellate Court's decision stating that state marriage statutes only applied to opposite-sex couples upheld.
 No
 No
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

May 1993 3 2 Court ruled that state must provide a compelling interest to restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Remanded case to lower courts for trial on the subject.
 Yes
 No
Hawaii Constitutional Amendment 2 (1998)
Constitutional Amendment 2 of 1998 amended the Constitution of Hawaii, granting the state legislature the power to prevent same-sex marriage from being conducted or recognized in Hawaii. Amendment 2 was the first constitutional amendment adopted in the United States that specifically targeted...

District of Columbia January 1995 0 9 Court ruled that District's marriage statute applied only to opposite-sex couples.
 No
 No
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

December 1999 0 5 Court ruled that plaintiffs' arguments were moot in light of 1998 state constitutional amendment
Hawaii Constitutional Amendment 2 (1998)
Constitutional Amendment 2 of 1998 amended the Constitution of Hawaii, granting the state legislature the power to prevent same-sex marriage from being conducted or recognized in Hawaii. Amendment 2 was the first constitutional amendment adopted in the United States that specifically targeted...

.
 No
 No
Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

December 1999 5 0 Same-sex marriage or something similar must be implemented in 100 days.
 Yes
 Civil unions
Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

April 2001 0 5 Court ruled that plaintiffs' arguments were moot in light of 1998 state constitutional amendment
Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (1998)
Ballot Measure 2 of 1998 is a ballot measure that added an amendment to the Alaska Constitution that prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriage in Alaska. The Ballot measure was sparked by the lawsuit filed by Jay Brause and Gene Dugan, after the two men were denied a marriage license by the...

 No
 No
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

November 2003 4 3 Court said that same-sex marriages must be legal in 180 days.
 Yes
 Marriage
Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

May 2004 Failed Court refused to hear an appeal of Arizona Appellate Court ruling upholding statutory marriage ban.
No
No
Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

January 2005 0 7 Constitutional amendment upheld.
No
No
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

April 2005 0 7 Court ruled that plaintiffs' arguments were moot in light of 2004 state constitutional amendment
Oregon Ballot Measure 36 (2004)
Ballot Measure 36 was a 2004 initiative in the U.S. state of Oregon. It amended the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The initiative passed with 1,028,546 votes in favor, and 787,556 votes against in the November 2, 2004 general election.It is one of a...

 banning same-sex marriage.
No
No
Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

July 2006 0 7 Constitutional amendment upheld.
No
No
New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

July 2006 2 4 Court said that the ban on same-sex marriages is upheld.
No
No
Washington July 2006 4 5 Court said that the ban on same-sex marriages is upheld.
No
No
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

October 2006 7 0 Same-sex marriage or something similar must be implemented in 100 days.
 Yes
 Civil union
Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

September 2007 3 4 Court said that the ban on same-sex marriages is upheld.
No
No
California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

May 2008 4 3 In 30 days same-sex marriages must be legal.
 Yes
Marriage repealed
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

October 2008 4 3 In 30 days same-sex marriages must be legal.
 Yes
 Marriage
Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

April 2009 7 0 In 27 days same-sex marriages must be legal.
 Yes
 Marriage
California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

May 2009 1 6 Constitutional amendment upheld - however the 18,000 same-sex marriages are also upheld.
No
-
New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

October 2009 3 2 The case challenging the recognition of same-sex marriages in the state of New York was heard and upheld the rights that came with the recognition of same-sex marriages.
Recognition upheld
Continuing the recognition of same-sex marriages abroad.
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

June 2010 0 7 Constitutional amendment upheld by the state's Supreme Court.
No
No
Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

September 2010 Failed County judge ruled statutory and constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in violation of the US constitution; appealed to 5th Texas Court of Appeals. The court says Texas’ same-sex marriage ban is constitutional.
No
No
Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

March 2011 Failed The ban on same-sex marriages was upheld.
No
No
Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

June 2011 Allowed Two Wyoming residents are seeking a legal remedy to dissolve a legal relationship created under the laws of Canada.
Yes
Couple can divorce in Wyoming
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

2011 ... Seven gay couples filed a lawsuit asserting that New Jersey's civil unions law does not adequately protect same-sex couples under the law in the same way marriage does. ... ...

See also


  • Same-sex marriage in the United States
    Same-sex marriage in the United States
    The federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage in the United States, but such marriages are recognized by some individual states. The lack of federal recognition was codified in 1996 by the Defense of Marriage Act, before Massachusetts became the first state to grant marriage licenses...

  • Same-sex marriage status in the United States by state
    Same-sex marriage status in the United States by state
    Same-sex unions have been on the political radar in the United States since the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that denying 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 law in the United States by state
  • Same-sex marriage legislation around the world
    Same-sex marriage legislation around the world
    Same-sex marriage is currently carried out throughout ten countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina. Six U.S. states and one U.S. district perform same-sex marriages, those being Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New...

  • Perry v. Schwarzenegger
    Perry v. Schwarzenegger
    Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the federal constitutionality of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that amended the California Constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples,...