Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality

State issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples (5 states and the District of Columbia).
Connecticut (2008), District of Columbia (2010), Iowa (2009), Massachusetts (2004), New
Hampshire (2010) and Vermont (2009).


State recognizes marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction (1 state)
New York (2008).


Statewide law providing the equivalent of state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples within the
state (5 states and Washington, DC )
California* (domestic partnerships, 1999, expanded in 2005), Nevada (domestic partnerships,
2009), New Jersey (civil unions, 2007), Oregon (domestic partnerships, 2008) and Washington
(domestic partnerships, 2007/2009).


Statewide law providing some statewide spousal rights to same-sex couples within the state (4 states)
Colorado (designated beneficiaries, 2009), Hawaii (reciprocal beneficiaries, 1997), Maine (2004),
and Wisconsin (domestic partnerships, 2009).


* California: Same-sex marriages that took place between June 16, 2008 and November 4, 2008 continue to be
defined as marriages. On October 12, 2009, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that recognizes samesex marriages from out of state that occurred between the June to November 2008 time frame as marriages in
California, and all other out of state same-sex marriages as domestic partnerships.
* Maine: Gov. John Baldacci signed marriage equality legislation May 6, 2009. However, the new law was
repealed by a ballot measure in November 2009.
* Maryland does not have a registry but does provide certain benefits to statutorily defined domestic partners.
Also, on Feb. 24, 2010, the Maryland Attorney General issued an advisory opinion declaring that the state can
recognize out of jurisdiction marriages.
* Rhode Island does not have a registry but does provide certain benefits to statutorily defined domestic
partners.