Marriage Equality USA

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Facts at a Glance

As of 23 October 2014

  • 32 of 50 states HAVE marriage (64%)
    • Massachusetts (May 2004)
    • California (June 2008 & June 2013)
    • Connecticut (Nov. 2008)
    • Iowa (April 2009)
    • Vermont (Sept. 2009)
    • New Hampshire (Jan. 2010)
    • New York (June 2011)
    • Washington (Dec. 2012)
    • Maine (Dec. 2012)
    • Maryland (Jan. 2013)
    • Delaware (July 2013)
    • Rhode Island (Aug. 2013)
    • Minnesota (Aug. 2013)
    • New Jersey (Oct. 2013)
    • Hawai'i (Dec. 2013)
    • New Mexico (Dec. 2013)
    • Oregon (May 2014)
    • Pennsylvania (May 2014)
    • Illinois (June 2014)
    • Utah (October 2014)
    • Oklahoma (October 2014)
    • Virginia (October 2014)
    • Indiana (October 2014)
    • Wisconsin (October 2014)
    • North Carolina (October 2014)
    • Nevada (October 2014)
    • Colorado (October 2014)
    • West Virginia (October 2014)
    • Idaho (October 2014)
    • Arizona (October 2014)
    • Alaska (October 2014)
    • Wyoming (October 2014)
  • 33 of 56 states, special districts, and territories HAVE marriage (58.9%)
    • Washington D.C. is the only special district / territory w/marriage (March 2010)
    • Remaining U.S. territories are: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    • There is an active federal lawsuit ongoing in Puerto Rico to gain marriage equality
  • The following American Indian/Native American tribal nations have marriage equality
    • Coquille (OR 2008)
    • Mashantucket Pequot (CT since at least 2011)
    • Suquamish (WA 2011)
    • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (WA 2013)
    • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (MN 2013)
    • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (MI 2013)
    • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (MI, 2013)
    • 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 existing marriage laws
  • 58.5% of people live in a state, special district or territory WITH marriage
  • Same-sex marriage is banned in the following states
    • Alabama
    • Georgia 
    • Kansas
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • Nebraska
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota 
    • Tennessee
  • 41.4% of people live in a state, special district or territory WITHOUT marriage
  • 3 states are currently bound by their Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to allow marriage, but have not started or are appealing: Kansas (10th Circuit), Montana (9th Circuit) and South Carolina (4th Circuit)
  • On 6 October 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to take any of the 7 marriage equality cases from 5 states on appeal. 
  • 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 October 2014, 17 countries allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide
    • The Netherlands (2000)
    • Belgium (2003)
    • Spain (2005)
    • Canada (2005)
    • South Africa (2006)
    • Norway (2009)
    • Sweden (2009)
    • Portugal (2010)
    • Iceland (2010)
    • Argentina (2010)
    • Denmark (2012)
    • Brazil (2013)
    • France (2013)
    • Uruguay (2013)
    • New Zealand (2013)
    • United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland 2014)
    • Luxembourg (2014)
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in some jurisdictions of Mexico 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:

  • 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).

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