UPDATE: The 16 States (& 1 District) Where You Can Get Married Now


UPDATE: The ever-expanding list of States that extend equal rights to their LGBT individuals is getting harder to nail down. In light of the growing number of states winning the battles for their friends of Dorothy with many additions on the horizon, we’re nailing down the list of official states where you can actually get hitched right now. Without further adieu, here is the chronological list of 16 US States (plus the District of Columbia) where same-sex marriage is officially legal as of January 2014.



IOWA | 2009

VERMONT | 2009



NEW YORK |2011

MAINE | 2012








HAWAII | 2013

ILLINOIS | 2014**

*Same-sex marriage was legal in 2008 following a court ruling. Soon after, voters approved Proposition 8, banning gay marriage in California. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Prop 8 was invalid and that same-sex marriage was again legal.

**The state Senate approved same-sex marriage on February 14, 2013, and the state House passed it on November 5. However, the law will not take effect until June 2014.


ORIGINAL STORY (April 26, 2013): With the state marriage equality train picking up steam at an ever-quickening pace, it’s a good time to take a breath and see where we currently stand across the nation.

Nine states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriages, with California and Rhode Island poised to become the next states to sanction (or in California’s case, re-sanction) them.

Lesser known to many, three tribal jurisdictions have also implemented marriage equality: the Coquille of Oregon, the Suquamish of Washington, and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

Here’s Queerty’s rundown of the states with full marriage equality, and a brief look at the various roads that got them there.

Massachusetts | May 17, 2004
Leading the way for the United States, Massachusetts became only the sixth jurisdiction in the world to sanction marriage equality in 2004, more than four years before another state would follow suit. The legalization came as the result of the state’s Supreme Court judgment that only allowing heterosexual couples to marry was unconstitutional.

Connecticut | November 12, 2008Gay Weddings 12 by Jeffrey James Keyes
In October 2008, Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled that denying gays the right to marry was against the equality and liberty rules in the Connecticut Constitution. Marriage equality became law the following month.

Iowa  | April 27, 2009
Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled in early April 2009 that denying marriage licenses on the basis of sexual orientation was a violation of the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. Marriage equality went into effect three weeks later.

Vermont | September 1, 2009
After having been the first state to legalize civil unions in 2000, nine years later Vermont became the first state to make marriage equality a law through the enactment of a statute rather than by a court decision. This came despite a veto by the state’s then-governor, which was overridden by the Vermont legislature.

District of Columbia | December 18, 2009
After being introduced by openly gay member David Catania in October 2009, the Council of the District of Columbia passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act, which was then signed into law by Mayor Adrian Fenty.

New Hampshire | January 1, 2010
New Hampshire first allowed civil unions on January 1, 2008. A year and a half later, following the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in the state’s legislature, Governor John Lynch signed the bill into law, which went into effect on the first day of the following year. All existing civil unions were converted to marriages, unless otherwise dissolved or annulled.

New York | July 24, 2011
New York’s appeals court left the question of marriage equality to the state’s legislature in 2006, but it took five years for legislation to clear the New York State Senate. The Marriage Equality Act passed on June 24, 2011, just in time to spice up that year’s Pride.

Washington | December 6, 2012
Washington State’s same-sex marriage bill was approved by both houses of the state’s legislature and signed by Governor Christine Gregoire in early 2012. Opponents then blocked its implementation, putting the question on the ballot last November. Voters approved by a margin of 54% to 46%, and marriage equality became law a month later on December 6.

Maine | December 29, 2012
The road to same-sex marriage in Maine was one of the more twisty:  On May 6, 2009, John Baldacci became the first governor to sign a marriage equality bill into law. The very next day, opponents began a campaign that eventually repealed the law by voter referendum that November. Three years later, same-sex marriage itself was put on the ballot, and this time voters approved.

marriage equality marylandMaryland | January 1, 2013
Following a campaign by its Democratic legislature and Governor Martin O’Malley, last November Maryland put the question of marriage equality before voters, marking the first time that gay marriage was achieved through a popular vote. It went into effect on New Year’s Day 2013.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Wow! Nine states with three in the wings to allow. You do realize, of course, that when the “magic” number of 15 (approx.) states is reached, there will never be an amendment to the Constitution to ban same sex marriage nationwide, because it takes 2/3 of the states to ratify an amendment and that would mean 35 (approx.) states must vote to amend. I seriously doubt that will happen at this point. Congratulations on this remarkable milestone!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Homophile

    The way that equality has been snowballing has been unreal. I never thought I’d see marriage equality in my lifetime. Maybe domestic partnerships recognized on a federal level is the most I’d hoped for.

    This was all made possible by the (at the time) fringe gay activists that wouldn’t listen to the HRC, it’s because of people being brave enough to be out and proud, it’s because of young people and their realization that it’s no big deal. Mostly it’s because of our straight allies who recognize right from wrong, and in spite of the fact that it doesn’t effect them directly, they still are fighting with us for change.


  • Dakotahgeo

    @Dakotahgeo: Actually, there are four states in the wings…
    Rhode Island, Delaware, Illinois and Minnesota. That would be 13, 2 more to go to defeat the 2/3 clause to amend the Constitution. I believe DOMA is bound to fall, and California will be another gift in our favor. Hmmm… happy, happy, joy, joy!

  • DarkZephyr

    GOD, I am SO proud to be a Washingtonian. I live in one of the first three states to get marriage equality by popular vote, and the very FIRST state to actually implement it in December of 2013.

    I remember feeling angry, frustrated and saddened when the %^&#ing zealots got enough hateful signatures to force the referendum back in June of 2012. But now I am SO GLAD that they did. We won’t be getting any version of Proposition 8 here, because the people have already spoken. And the MILLIONS that NOM and the AFA and the Mormon Church, etc, poured the campaign against Referendum 74 was a complete waste. Its gone and they will never get it back. HA!

  • alterego1980

    @Dakotahgeo: To be honest, I don’t see Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, Colorado or New Jersey , all who have Civil Unions at this point, ever voting in favor of an amendment to ban same-sex marriage. That, with Rhode Island puts us at 15 in favor of either Civil Unions or full marriage equality. Let’s hope the snowball grows even bigger over the next few years.

  • daniwitz13

    Yes, I don’t see why full equality can’t be realized, Two Males should be able to make Children together like the opposite sex. Can’t they just legislate it to happen. How many States did you mention that can make it Happen? Surely that is attainable. Maybe not tomorrow but just maybe a Trillion years from now, maybe. Well it is certainly something to look forward to. Cross your fingers. Pity.

  • Homophile


    Old, tired, debunked argument. Move along.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @alterego1980: Thank you, alterego. I was probably thinking wishfully, lolol. Unfortunately, my glass always seems half full, but wouldn’t it be nice if…! But yes, the snowball indeed growth bigger! :-) Kudos!

  • DarkZephyr

    @daniwitz13: We are talking about marriage equality, not reproductive equality. Pull your head out of your dark tunnel, if you know what I mean.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @DarkZephyr: (Sighhh… with smiles) Thank you, DarkZephyr!!!

  • Ottoman

    Just because a state has marriage equality that doesn’t mean its people and/or a future republican legislative majority wouldn’t vote to ratify a federal Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I think Iowa would be particularly vulnerable still. However, I’m pretty sure that ship sailed 15 plus years ago and there’s no chance more than say 20-25 states would ever get on board with a US Constitutional gay marriage ban now. Bush tried to go that route in 2006 and it didn’t get anywhere in the Republican led Congress.

  • tomron

    The inevitability of marriage for all is plain to see. If I were any of the “holdout states” I’d hurry to hop in the bandwagon. It’s been proved over and over by the Williams Institute that there are big bucks to be had for states in which marriage can be done. Why are those “other” states allowing those big bucks to escape their boundaries?
    PS: This of course is secondary to the question: Why are those “other states” being so blind to the inequality they foster?

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Ottoman: Thank you for your comment. One of the strongest arguments pro Same-sex marriage coming out of the 9th Circuit Court was the fact that once marriage rights are voted on and made law, legally, a state cannot take those rights away, no matter how the Legislature tips, or in what direction (unless, of course, the law is found unconstitutional… in CA’s case, that isn’t going to happen!). That, plus other strong arguments FOR the dismissal of Prop 8 will probably be the legal backbreaker for DOMA and Prop 8 (in CA’s favor, but not other states). Your remarks are spot on the mark!

  • bmwblonde

    Moron-i-witz (aka danowitz) IS doing the same tired old “arguement.” He starts with a truly STUPID [but un-said] premise (which we’re supposed to fall for), that Marriage is Solely to Make Children. Well maybe that WAS the premise if we were still tribe members (as in, 2,000 years ago), back when women were property (like Camels) and you only “owned” them to create your (male, hope hope hope) heirs.

    THAT is the Evangelical premise (for Patriarchal Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims) — that we can go back to the “good old days” when men were men and women were OWNED.
    THEN, from that asinine “premise,” he assumes that gay men want to be married so they can somehow biologically “have” children. Obviously his tiny little mind is all turned around in its britches about that prospect, which he then relegates to science fiction (“trillions of years from now.”)

    Maybe we can find a time machine and send this cretin back to the Middle East a couple thousand years ago; if he’s lucky he’ll materialize there the Big Tribal Chief that drives his goofy, bigoted “premise” — and not a slave, or god forbid, a woman. (Eek)

    In other words, folks, we must NEVER “accept” or “argue with” such absurd PREMISES. Instead, just source them and CALL THEM OUT. Then they fall apart into the stupidly anachronictic male-chauvinist and homophobic “ideas” that they really are (were).

  • Merv

    A stroll down memory lane. It’s amazing how much changed in just a few months.

    The list should probably also include New Mexico. You can get married there, but just not in every county.

  • erikwm

    I live in a state with marriage equality, but can’t even find a date. :(

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  • Merv

    Wow, my comment from yesterday is already obsolete. You can now get married throughout New Mexico.

  • ariniah724

    my step-mom just bought a stunning blue Chevrolet Equinox SUV only from working parttime off a home computer… over here…….

  • Kathy T. Williams

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  • aubergine

    Without further “adieu”????? What illiterate moron composed this?

Comments are closed.