State Legislation Pending
Updated 9 March 2014
- ARIZONA • On January 2013, State Senator Ed Ableser (D-Tempe) introduced Senate Bill 1041, which would give same-gender couples the same rights as opposite-gender couples. On 30 January 2013, state Senator Steve Gallardo (D-Phoenix) introduced SCR-1004 to repeal the constitutional marriage ban via ballot vote, and SB-1165 to enact a same-gender marriage law, and SB-1164 to repeal a law that gives precedence to married, mixed-gender couples in adoption cases. Separately, a ballot measure also was attempted but later suspended (see Ballots page).
- ARIZONA #2 • On 15 January 2014, AZ state Senator Steve Yarbrough (R) proposed SB-1062, a law that would legalize discrimination by any person, agency, business, or organization against anyone else, whenever the perpetrator says the discrimination is related to personal religious beliefs. On 16 January 2014, the AZ Senate Government and Environment Committee approved it, 4 Republicans to 2 Democrats. On 20 February 2014, the AZ senate passed SB-1062, 17 to 13. On 27 February 2014, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.
ARIZONA #4 • On 4 February 2014, an AZ House Government Committee passed HB-2153, which legalizes discrimination against LGBT people whenever the perpetrator claims personal religious beliefs as the reason for the discrimination.
ARIZONA #5 • On 28 February 2014, Republican-sponsored HB-2481 (which would legalize government workers’ refusals to conduct civil marriage ceremonies if said workers base their refusal on personal religious beliefs) moved to awaiting debate in the AZ House.
- COLORADO #2 • See Ballots page.
- COLORADO #3 • On 10 January 2014, state Senator Pat Steadman proposed a law allowing same-gender couples who file federal tax returns as legally married to also file state tax returns using the same marital status. On 14 January 2014, CO Senate Bill 19 passed the Senate Finance Committee, and now proceeds to a vote of the entire Senate.
COLORADO #4 • On 21 January 2014, the CO state Senate preliminarily approved a bill letting same-gender couples married elsewhere file their CO state tax returns jointly. On 17 February 2014, the CO House approved the bill, sending it to the governor for his signature.
- FLORIDA #1 • On 9 January 2013, a domestic partnership law was proposed in the FL state senate, which would grant a few marital rights to same-gender couples but not full marriage, which is banned in the state constitution. On 19 February 2013, the sponsor postponed a vote on the bill so that she could rewrite it to better match local ordinances of the 18 cities and counties which already have such regulations.
- FLORIDA #3 • On 18 December 2013, FL state Representative Linda Stewart (D) filed HB-439, which would legalize domestic partners, but give them only a few of the rights and protections available to married people. A similar bill, SB-196, filed in the Senate on 9 January 2013, died in the Judiciary Committee in May 2013.
- GEORGIA #2 • On 24 February 2014, GA state representatives held a hearing on HB-1023, the “Preservation of Religious Freedom Act” (which would legalize discrimination whenever religious belief is claimed as the excuse). On 25 February 2014, GA House Judiciary Committee Chair Wendell Willard said HB-1023 will fail this year.
- GEORGIA #3 • On 25 February 2014, GA Senator Josh McKoon sponsored SB-377, which would allow using personal religious beliefs as a reason for violating federal health care laws. The bill dies if not passed by 3 March 2014.
- HAWAII #1 • On 13 February 2014, HI state representatives killed HB-1624 (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2014), which would have placed some government interests subordinate to some religious beliefs, allowed religious belief to excuse compliance with state and local laws, and let citizens sue government agencies whenever religious belief is “burdened” by civil law.
IDAHO #1 • On 14 January 2014, the ID House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a rule denying legally married same-gender couples the right to file ID state tax returns jointly. If no lawmaker objects before the end of this legislative session, the tax rule becomes final.
IDAHO #2 • On 19 February, HB-427 (which would have legalized using religious belief to refuse government or commercial services to people who are or are suspected to be LGBT, and would have banned lawsuits by victims) was withdrawn.
INDIANA #1 • See Ballots page.
INDIANA #4 • On 25 February 2014, the IN House Ways and Means Committee voted down a provision in SB-367 that would have let some state contractors discriminate against workers and use their personal religious beliefs as the reason.
- IOWA #1 • On 5 March 2013, IA HJR-11 (which would ban same-gender civil marriage via the IA Constitution) was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. On 25 February 2013, SJR-5 (which would ban same-gender civil marriage via the IA Constitution) was referred to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. On 8 March 2013, the ban died, after neither chamber assigned it to a committee, but it remains eligible for consideration in 2014.
- IOWA #2 • On 6 March 2013, IA HB-444 was proposed (which would ban same-gender civil marriage licenses until after voters decide whether to ban such licenses via the IA Constitution). It awaits Judiciary Committee action.
- KANSAS • On 24 January 2014, KS state Representative Charles Macheers introduced HB-2453, which would legalize discrimination by individuals, businesses, and government against same-gender couples whenever the religious beliefs are claimed as the reason. On 12 February 2014, the Republican-controlled KS House of Representatives passed HB-2453, 72 to 49, sending it to the Senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats, 32 to 8. On 14 February 2014, the KS state Senate President Susan Wagle said she, the House Speaker, and Governor Sam Brownback no longer support the bill to legalize discrimination against LGBT people for religious beliefs. On 17 February 2014, the KS Senate Judiciary Committee decided not to consider HB-2453 at all.
MASSACHUSETTS • On 22 January 2013, MA HB-2672 (which would provide a tax credit to state employees who pay federal taxes on health benefits provided to a same-gender spouse) was referred to the House Committee on Revenue.
- MICHIGAN #2, #3, #4, #5 • On 29 May 2013, state senators introduced 4 bills to advance recognition of same-gender couples: Joint Resolution W would let MI voters repeal the constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage; Resolution 64 would urge repeal of the federal Defense-of-Marriage Act; SB-405 would repeal other limitations on same-gender relationships, and SB-406 would recognize same-gender marriages from states where they are already legal. On 4 June 2013, MI SB-406 (recognition of same-gender civil marriages from other states if the MI DOMA is repealed) was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.
- MICHIGAN #6, #7, #8, #9 • On 24 June 2013, 4 state Representatives introduced 3 pieces of legislation: (1) a constitutional amendment to repeal the 2004 same-gender civil marriage ban; (2) a bill to recognize same-gender civil marriages from elsewhere; and (3) a bill to legalize same-gender civil marriage in MI. On 18 July 2013, MI HB-4910 (recognition of same-gender civil marriages from other states if the MI DOMA is repealed) was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
- MICHIGAN #10 • On 18 July 2013, MI HJR-22 (repeal ban on same-gender civil marriage) was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
- MICHIGAN #11 • On 4 June 2013, MI SJR 23 (repeal ban on same-gender civil marriage) was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.
- MICHIGAN #12 • On 16 May 2013, MI HB-4742 (repeal of the Public Employee Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act) was referred to the House
Government Operations Committee.
MINNESOTA • On 25 April 2013, MN HB-1805 (which replace marriage with civil union contracts) was referred to the House Civil Law Committee.
MISSISSIPPI #1 • On 27 February 2014, MS lawmakers revised SB-2681 so that it would legalize discrimination by any person, government, or corporation claiming personal religious beliefs as the reason, except when the discrimination is outlawed by a “government interest of the highest magnitude.” On 4 March 2014, the MS House Judiciary Committee advanced SB-2681, MS Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which would legalizes discrimination whenever the discriminator claims religious belief as the excuse.
- MISSOURI #2 • On 24 February 2014, MO senators began considering SB-916, which would give any religious belief, no matter how unique, precedence over some civil laws and government policies.
- NEVADA • For details, see Ballots page.
- NEW JERSEY #1 • On 18 November 2013, NJ AB-4434 / SB-2925 (which would recognize same-sex marriages entered into outside New Jersey) were proposed. Both bills await Judiciary Committee action.
- NEW JERSEY #2 • On 12 December 2013, NJ SB-3109, the Marriage Equality Act (which would codify the same-gender civil marriages that were ordered by the state courts) was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- NEW MEXICO #1 • On 21 February 2013, the House Voters & Elections Committee voted 7-to-4 to defeat House Joint Resolution 3, which would allow voters to decide marriage equality.
- NEW MEXICO #2 • On 17 January 2013, House Republicans introduced House Joint Resolution 4, which would ban same-gender marriage, but it was rejected by the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee 3-to-2 on 5 February 2013.
- NEW MEXICO #6 • On 19 December 2013, NM state Senator Bill Sharer (R) proposed SJR-6, to amend the NM constitution to ban same-gender civil marriage based on his personal belief that same-gender couples have no children. The change would have to pass both chambers of the NM legislature, before appearing on a statewide voter ballot. On 20 February 2014, SJR-6 died when the NM legislative session ended without any hearing on the proposal. Similar proposals all died in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
- NORTH CAROLINA • On 10 April 2013, HB-751 (which would legalize discrimination whenever the excuse is religious belief) was introduced. It failed to advance as a separate bill for 2014, but could advance as an amendment for 2014.
- OHIO #2 • In December 2013, 45 OH state representatives introduced SB-376, the Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which would legalize all discrimination whenever the discriminator claims it is based on personal religious beliefs; this legislation would also force the victims to pay their discriminators’ legal costs. The bill is promoted by numerous anti-LGBT hate groups, including: CCV (Citizens for Community Values), AFA (American Family Association), Focus on the Family, FRC (Family Research Council), Liberty University, Liberty Counsel, COAST (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes), and the Ohio Republican Party. On 24 February 2014, sponsors began revising the bill so that it does not resemble a similar bill proposed in AZ.
- OKLAHOMA #2 • On 20 January 2014, state Representative Mike Turner introduced House Joint Resolution 1076, to put same-gender civil marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships on a statewide ballot so that all three can be re-banned via the state constitution in 2014, just the way they were in 2004.
- OKLAHOMA #3 • On 20 January 2014, state Representative Mike Turner introduced the Preservation of Marriage Act (H. 2466) to outlaw same-gender civil marriage.
- OKLAHOMA #5 • On 25 February 2014, OK state Representative and pastor Tom Newell withdrew HB-2873 and SB-1846 (which would have legalized discrimination whenever religious belief is given as the reason), and said he will introduce a new version in the next session.
- PENNSYLVANIA #1 • On 7 May 2013, PA state Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) re-introduced his proposed amendment (HB-1349) to ban same-gender civil marriage via the constitution. It had 40 supporters in the prior legislative session, which shrank to only 27 (all Republicans). It was assigned to the House State Government Committee.
- PENNSYLVANIA #2 • On 15 April 2013, state Representative Mark Cohen (D-Phila.) reintroduced his “everything-but-marriage” civil union bill (HB-1178), and it is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
- PENNSYLVANIA #3 • On 27 June 2013, state Representatives Brian Sims and Steve McCarter introduced legislation to legalize same-gender civil marriage.
- PENNSYLVANIA #5 • On 13 March 2013, SB-646 was introduced to create domestic partnerships and grant an inheritance tax exemption, and it was assigned to the Finance Committee.
- PENNSYLVANIA #6 • On 3 October 2013, state Representative Brian Sims (D) introduced HB-1686, the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act, to legalize same-gender civil marriage. The bill is supported by 32 lawmakers (31 Democrats, 1 Republican). On 16 October 2013, it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
PENNSYLVANIA #7 • On 20 March 2013, SB-719 (same-gender civil marriage) was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
PENNSYLVANIA #8 • On 9 September 2013, PA HB-1647 (same-gender civil marriage) was proposed, and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
PENNSYLVANIA #9 • On 24 June 2013, PA HB-1569 (limited domestic partnership) was referred to the House Finance Committee.
RHODE ISLAND #1 • On 14 May 2012, Governor Chafee ordered RI agencies to treat out-of-state same-gender marriages as legal, and to treat married same-gender and opposite-gender couples equally, to comply with a 2007 state attorney general’s opinion. Results: same-gender spouses of state employees and anyone covered by a RI-regulated insurer got health/life insurance benefits; same-gender parent names appear on birth certificates; and same-gender couples became exempt from sales tax on property and vehicle transfers.
- RHODE ISLAND #2 • On 22 January 2013, RI Senate Joint Resolution 96, SJR-96, (which would ban marriage for same-gender couples and limit them to civil union only) was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- SOUTH CAROLINA #1 • On 15 January 2014, SC House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D) filed a bill that would let same-gender couples who are legally married elsewhere file SC state income taxes jointly.
- SOUTH CAROLINA #2 • On 15 January 2014, SC House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D) filed a bill to repeal the 2006 constitutional amendment that banned same-gender civil marriage.
- SOUTH DAKOTA #1 • On 21 January 2014, 28 lawmakers introduced SB-66 (which would exempt clergy, non-clergy, and organizations from performing same-gender civil marriages). On 18 February 2014, the SD Senate Judiciary Committee defeated SB-66, 5 to 2. Discrimination against LGBT people by businesses in hiring and services is already legal, but SB-66 also would have banned discrimination lawsuits and banned all future federal recognition of sexual orientation as a protected class.
SOUTH DAKOTA #3 • On 30 January 2014, SD senators introduced SB-128, which would legalize religion-based discrimination against LGBT people in 4 settings: (1) employment; (2) public accommodation; (3) commercial services; and (4) state courts.
- TENNESSEE #2 • On 6 February 2014, TN state Senator Brian Kelsey (R) and Representative Bill Dunn (R) proposed SB-2566 and HB-2467, to legalize discrimination against same-gender couples in domestic partnerships, civil unions, and marriages, whenever the discrimination is based on claims of personal religious beliefs. On 13 February 2014, TN state Senator Brian Kelsey withdrew SB-2566 (Religious Liberties Act), but TN state Senator Mike Bell (R) re-sponsored it. On 18 February 2014, SB-2566 was withdrawn.
- TEXAS #5 • In February 2013, TX state Representative Elliott Naishtat (D) filed HB-1140 which would provide domestic partner benefits to workers at 27 TX educational and health institutions, but not to any other state employees.
- TEXAS #6 • On 1 July 2013, state representative Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) introduced another bill (HJR-11) to legalize same-gender civil marriage once the 2005 constitutional ban is repealed.
- TEXAS #7 • On 1 July 2013, a bill (HB-20) was introduced to repeal the bans on same-gender civil marriage and same-gender couples married elsewhere.
- UTAH #2 • On 29 January 2014, UT state Representative Merrill Nelson proposed a law so that citizens can donate funds via their UT tax return for legalizing discrimination against same-gender couples.
- UTAH #3 • On 27 January 2014, state Rep. Jacob Anderegg (R) introduced 2 bills (HB-231, HJR-1) that would prevent clergy from being forced to solemnize marriages against their beliefs. (This is totally unnecessary since the government can't force clergy to solemnize any marriages as it is.)
- VIRGINIA #2 • On 26 November 2013, VA state Senator Adam Ebbin and VA state Delegate Joseph Morrissey introduced a bill to repeal the VA constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. The bill would have to pass the current General Assembly in 2014, then pass again with many new lawmakers in 2016, then be passed by voters via the 2016 general election ballot. For details on the 2016 referendum, see Ballots page.
- VIRGINIA #3 • On 8 January 2014, 9 state lawmakers (6 delegates, 3 senators) sponsored resolutions to repeal VA’s 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. For details on the 2016 referendum, see Ballots page. On 9 January 2014, VA House Privileges and Elections Committee Chair Mark Cole (R) postponed all constitutional amendment hearings from 2014 to 2015. On 20 January 2014, VA lawmakers voted to table Bill 939, which would have repealed the statutory bans -- without legalizing -- same-gender civil marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership. The bills which would have repealed the constitutional ban are not being heard during this legislative session at all. The earliest that voters could vote to repeal the constitutional ban is in 2016, which may be unnecessary if either federal lawsuit prevails before then.
VIRGINIA #4 • On 3 February 2014, the Republican-led VA House of Representatives passed HB-706, a bill that would let any state lawmaker defend the VA ban on same-gender civil marriage in place of the governor and attorney general. The bill also needs approval of the VA Senate, then the VA governor. On 21 February 2014, the VA Senate killed HB-706, thus making it unlikely that anyone can appeal the 14 February federal ruling which found the ban unconstitutional.
- WISCONSIN #2 • On 13 February 2014, 16 Democratic lawmakers proposed a law that would repeal the 2006 WI constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage.
- WYOMING #1 • On 10 February 2014, WY state Representative Cathy Connolly (D) proposed HB-87, a law to legalize same-gender civil marriage. On 13 February 2014, the WY House defeated HB-87 by a 41 to 17 vote.
- WYOMING #3 • On 13 February 2014, the WY House defeated HB-108 by a 31 to 29 vote, introduced by state Rep. Gerald Gay (R), which would have outlawed same-gender civil marriages performed elsewhere.
Send questions and comments to Ned Flaherty: NFlaherty@marriageequality.org.