Where Is Gay Marriage Legal?

Where Is Gay Marriage Legal?

There are many places in the world where homosexuals are allowed to get married or to form civil unions. Gay marriage is a hot-button issue in America, but in a few places around the world, gay marriage and union has been legal for years.

Gay Marriage vs. Civil Unions

Not every gay marriage law allows traditional marriage between homosexuals. Many cities in America and countries around the world have allowed for something called “civil unions” as a concession to the gay community without angering that portion of the population that believes marriage should only take place between a man and a woman.

The concept of a “civil union” is a recent one. The concept was born in Denmark in 1989 and has spread around the worldWhere Is Gay Marriage Legal?

since then. A civil union gives a same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as a married couple. Civil unions between homosexuals are favored in areas where making a change to marriage law would be time-consuming and costly, or in areas with a heavily religious population.

Every civil union law is a little different–civil unions in the state of Vermont, for example, are intended to completely imitate marriage, providing same-sex couples with a viable path to marriage without addressing the issue of whether or not marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. Other civil unions are more restrictive, creating civil unions that are distinct from marriage and may not allow all the same rights to same sex couples that traditional married couples would have.

Gay Marriage in America

Here is a breakdown of every state in America and their policy toward gay marriage and civil unions.

Alabama–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Alaska–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Arizona–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Arkansas–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

California–The law in California banning gay marriage is still being worked out in the courts. For now, civil unions are available under certain conditions, and are essentially the same as heterosexual marriages in terms of rights and responsibilities.

Colorado–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. There are provisions that allow for civil unions.

Connecticut–Gay marriages and civil unions are legal in Connecticut.

Delaware–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

District of Columbia–Both domestic partnerships and gay marriage are legal.

Florida–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Georgia–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Hawaii–A legal gray area exists in Hawaiian civil union laws. A civil union law is being voted on as of this writing.

Idaho–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Illinois–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Indiana–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Iowa–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Kansas–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Kentucky–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Louisiana–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Maine–Same-sex couples married in states where their union is legal can apply for domestic partnerships in Maine.

Maryland–One of the oldest “definition of marriage as between a man and a woman” laws, Maryland has banned gay marriage since 1973. Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Massachusetts–Gay marriages and civil unions are legal in Massachusetts.

Michigan–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Minnesota–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Mississippi–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Missouri–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Montana–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Nebraska–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Nevada–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

New Hampshire–Gay marriage is legal in New Hampshire. In fact, there’s no such thing as a “civil union” as of January 1, 2011. That’s the day that all “civil unions” became legal marriages.

New Jersey–The only legal marriage status for same-sex couples in New Jersey is a limited civil union.

New Mexico–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

New York–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

North Carolina–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

North Dakota–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Ohio–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Oklahoma–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Oregon–Civil unions only.

Pennsylvania–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Rhode Island–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

South Carolina–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

South Dakota–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Tennessee–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Texas–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Utah–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Vermont–Full marriage rights available to same-sex couples. No civil unions allowed.

Virginia–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Washington–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

West Virginia–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.

Wisconsin–Limited domestic partnerships exist, but there is no legal gay marriage.

Wyoming–Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. No civil unions, no gay marriage.