Page 34 - RWU Law / Issue#4 Fall 2012

RWU LAW
Fall 2012
32
Key
Freedom to Marry
Civil Unions
Domestic Partnership Rights
ME
NH
VT
NY
MA
CT
PA
NJ
DE
MD
RI
WV
VA
OH
MI
WI
KY
IN
IL
IA
NC
FL
WY
AZ
HI
WA
OR
CA
MT
ID
NV
UT
ND
SD
NB
CO
NM
TX
KS
OK
MO
AR
LA
TN
SC
GA
AL
MS
AK
MN
DC (Freedom to Marry)
A Pivotal Year
The battle over same-sex marriage has been
at the forefront of the cultural wars in the
U.S. for some time, but this year has seen
the issue leap to the forefront of national
consciousness and snowball in importance
in every arena, from state legislatures to
federal and state courts, among civil rights
activists and in the media, and even within
this November’s elections. In May, President
Obama became the first U.S. president to
announce his support for same-sex marriage,
and in February, his administration declared
it will no longer defend the constitutionality
of the Defense of Marriage Act, which
prohibits the federal government’s
recognition of gay marriage.
In September, at the Democratic
National Convention in Charlotte,
Democrats took the historic step of adding
support for same-sex marriage to the
party’s official platform. On the other end
of the spectrum, Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney opposes not only
gay marriage but also same-sex civil unions,
giving voters a clear-cut choice between
the candidates on that issue. And the
presidential election is only one of the
many ways in which voters have voiced
their feelings on the deeply contentious
matter.
[
Editor’s Note: RWU Law magazine
went to print in late October, before the
outcome of the election.]
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in
the District of Columbia, as well as in six
states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
But voters have not been asked to weigh in
on the issue in those jurisdictions; indeed,
in every one of the 32 states in which
same-sex marriage has been put to vote, it
has been rejected.
This year, four states – Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota and Washington – asked voters
Same-Sex
RElationship laws
by state