- As of May 2014, marriage equality has been legalized in 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and in 10 Indian/Native American tribal nations
- Massachusetts (May 2004), California (June 2008 & June 2013), Connecticut (Nov. 2008), Iowa (April 2009), Vermont (Sept. 2009), New Hampshire (Jan. 2010), District of Columbia (March 2010), New York (June 2011), Washington (Dec. 2012), Maine (Dec. 2012), Maryland (Jan. 2013), Delaware (July 2013), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Minnesota (Aug. 2013), New Jersey (Oct. 2013), Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), New Mexico (Dec. 2013), Oregon (May 2014), Pennsylvania (May 2014), and Illinois (June 2014)
- Coquille (OR 2008), Mashantucket Pequot (CT since at least 2011), Suquamish (WA 2011), the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (WA), Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (MN), Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (MI), Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (MI), and Santa Ysabel Tribe (CA 2013), Puyallup (WA 2014), and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes were granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples by 2013, without any change to their marriage laws.
- Per Lambda Legal, as of August 2014 there are currently 92 pending marriage equality lawsuits in 33 states (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY) and Puerto Rico.
31 states have bans on Marriage Equality through state laws, amendments to state constitutions, or both.
- On 26 June 2013 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Windsor v. United States that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
- Marriage Equality USA maintains a current list of the impacts of the DOMA decision including on immigration, health care, social security and the military.
- As of April 2014, 15 countries allow same-sex couples to marry:
- The Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), Portugal (2010), Denmark (2012), Uruguay (2013), New Zealand (2013), Brazil (2013), and France (2013). Same-sex marriage is legal in some jurisdictions of Mexico, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales), and the United States.
Marriage offers legal benefits and responsibilities that protect families. Marriage also provides societal status and emotional benefits to the family unit. Here are just a fraction of the reasons why marriage matters to couples who choose/desire to marry, as well as other "facts at a glance" you may find useful:
Studies have found that married people live longer, have higher incomes, engage less in risky behaviors, eat healthier, and have fewer psychological problems than unmarried people.
- Research shows that unmarried couples have lower levels of happiness and well-being than married couples.
- Studies show that denying same-sex couples the right to marry has a negative impact on their mental health - i.e., I Do, But I can't: The impact of marriage denial on the mental health of sexual citizenship of Lesbians and Gay Men in the United States (Herdt, G. & Kertzner, R. 2006).
- Financial issues are complex and challenging, no matter the couple. When home ownership, kids and other assets are a part of the equation, planning for the present and the future is critical for greater security.
- Per the GAO (U.S. Government Accounting Office), marriage offers 1,138 Federal benefits and responsibilities, not including hundreds more offered by every state.
- Statistical economic research from the Williams Institute shows that states benefit economically from marriage equality.
- Married couples are permitted to give an unlimited amount of gifts to each other without being taxed.
- The law presumes that a married couple with both names on the title to their home owns the property as "tenants by the entirety."
- Many married people are entitled to financial benefits relating to their spouses, such as disability, pension and social security benefits.
- With marriage, a couple has the right to be treated as an economic unit and to file joint tax returns (and pay the marriage penalty), and obtain joint health, home and auto insurance policies.
- A child who grows up with married parents benefits from the fact that his or her parents' relationship is recognized by law and receives legal protections.
- Spouses are generally entitled to joint child custody and visitation should the marriage end in dissolution/divorce (and bear an obligation to pay child support).
- The Williams Institute also provides a report of same-sex couples and their families from the 2010 census including how many there are, where they live, and how many are raising children.
- Same-Sex Couples Settle Down More Often in States That Welcome Them - Per Nate Silver, May 2014
- Divorce Rates Higher in States with Gay Marriage Bans - Per Nate Silver, January 2010