Seven "States" of Same-Sex Unions

via the Human Rights Campaign
Update (5/7/2012): Go here for update on the "state" of same-sex marriages in the United States.


The Christian Science Monitor has a useful description of the different ways states have given benefits to gay and lesbian couples, from full marriage equality to reciprocal benefits. 


Here are the seven different ways states have dealt with benefits for same-sex couples:


1. Full Marriage Equality: 
Massachusetts (2004)
Connecticut (2008)
Vermont (2009)
Iowa (2009)
New Hampshire (2010)
District of Columbia (2010)
New York (2011)


2. Recognizes Marriages Performed Elsewhere:
Maryland (2010)
[New Jersey (2006) and Illinois (2011) recognize marriages as civil unions]


3. Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships Equivalent to Marriage:
Washington (2007, 2009)
New Jersey (2007)
Oregon (2008)
Nevada (2009)
Illinois (June 1, 2011)
Hawaii  (effective Jan. 1, 2012)
Delaware (effective Jan. 1, 2012)




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4. Spousal Rights Not Equivalent to Marriage:
Maine (2004)
Colorado (2009)
Wisconsin (2009)



5. Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage Between a Man and a Woman:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia



6. Laws Defining Marriage Between a Man and a Woman:
Delaware
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Minnesota
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming



7. Complicated Laws:
California (Proposition 8)

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