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Which American States Allow Gay Marriage?


gay marriage

Gay marriage is currently legal in 10 states and Washington D.C.

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Question: Which American States Allow Gay Marriage?

A few years ago, the idea that even one American state would allow gay marriage seemed pretty far fetched. Today, there are 17, and Washington D.C..


Same sex marriage is a big issue in the GLBT community, and many gay marriage activists have tirelessly fought to help see legal gay marriage become a reality in America. Thanks to these efforts gay marriage is now legal in ten jurisdictions.

As of 2014, gay men and lesbians could marry their same sex partners in:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington DC

Currently, many states recognize marriages of same sex couples that are legally performed in other places.

In 2013 a number of states legalized gay marriage including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Maryland and Minnesota and California.

California had briefly allowed gay marriage in 2008 until something called Prop 8 stripped same sex couples of this right. Prop 8 was repealed in 2010, and in June 2013, it was found to be unconstitutional, allowing gay marriage to resume in that state.

During the 2012 Presidential election Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. This was a pivotal and telling moment since going into the election, gay marriage was legal in six states and Washington D.C., but each of these was the result of legislation or court orders, and not by a vote of the people.


The passage of gay marriage in New York, in June, 2011, was also seen as a pivotal event. New York is America's third-most populous state and same sex marriage was passed in that state by the elected legislature and not through the courts. It was also voted for by Republican senators.

Same-sex marriage has also been legal in New Hampshire since January 2010, in Vermont and Iowa since 2009, in Connecticut since 2008 and notably in  Massachusetts since it becamse the first state to legalize same sex marriage in  May 2004.

Additionally, in June 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. Since it was passed in 1996, DOMA banned same sex marriage on the Federal level. Overturning DOMA allowed any same sex couple married in a state or country where gay marriage is legal to have their federal rights recognized as a married couple in the United States. These include things like federal pensions and tax and inheritance benefits.


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