FACTS AT A GLANCE
Marriage equality is an issue that often sparks intense emotions, both in those who are working for equality, and in those who oppose it. The institution of marriage is also surrounded by a great deal of assumption and mythology. It behooves us all to get the facts before discussing marriage equality. Marriage offers many legal benefits and responsibilities that protect families. It also provides societal status and emotional benefits.
- As of May 2014, Marriage Equality has been legalized in 19 U.S. states: Massachusetts (May 2004), 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), California (June 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). The District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage in March 2010.
- 31 states have bans on Marriage Equality through state laws, amendments to state constitutions, or both.
- Statistical economic research shows that states benefit economically from Marriage Equality - Williams Institute.
- On 26 June 2013 the United States Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Read the full decision here.
- Per the GAO (U.S. Government Account Office) Marriage offers 1,138 Federal benefits and responsibilities, not including hundreds more offered by every state. Click here to view/download the 2004 GAO Report regarding statutory changes made from 1996-2003 which resulted in a total of 1,138 federal rights, benefits, and privileges based on marital status.
- Same-Sex Couples Settle Down More Often in States That Welcome Them - Per Nate Silver, May 2014
- 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.