States Decide on Same-Sex Marriage After Court Ends DOMA
The Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act, leaving states to set same-sex marriage laws. Statutes ban same-sex marriage in 33 states; three of those allow civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Updated Dec. 19, 2013
State same-sex marriage statutes, judicial decisions or constitutional provisions
Bans same-sex marriage (30 states)
Bans same-sex marriage, allows civil unions
or comprehensive domestic partnerships (3)
Allows same-sex marriage (17 plus D.C.)
Year marriage status was established2
Most states established same-sex marriage laws even after Congress limited marriage to one man and one woman in 1996.
A Nov. 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision found that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying was unconstitutional. In 2004, 13 states passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
States that had previously banned same-sex marriage passed or updated laws to legalize marriage or allow civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Margin of victory for statewide votes on same-sex marriage
Voted to ban
Voted against ban
Voted to legalize
Maine, Maryland and Washington were the first states where voters chose to legalize same-sex marriage.
1 — Illinois can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples effective June 1, 2014.
2 — For states with constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, previous laws are not shown. For states that ban same-sex marriage and allow civil unions or domestic partnerships, the most recent year each provision passed is shown. Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban prevents legal status identical or similar to marriage. A limited domestic partnership law passed in 2009 is not shown.
Sources: Bloomberg reporting, National Conferences of State Legislatures, Human Rights Campaign, state legislature and Secretary of State websites
GRAPHIC: ALEX TRIBOU / BLOOMBERG VISUAL DATA