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Same Sex Marriage

Same-Sex Marriage

NCSL'S FORUM AND MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES

2014 Forum logo with US Capitol Building Come to the NCSL Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9-12, 2014 to help craft the States’ Agenda and learn the latest on important state-federal issues.

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CIVIL UNIONS AND DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS

 Maine CapitolSix states adopted civil unions available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Two states have adopted broad domestic partnerships that grant nearly all state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples.Three states and D.C. provide limited domestic partnerships that provide some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples, including same-sex couples.

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OVERVIEW | SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

State legislatures have been deeply involved in the public debates about how to define marriage and whether the official recognition of “marriage” should be limited to relationships involving one man and one woman or that same-sex couples should also be entitled to “marriage.” State legislatures have gone both ways in this debate: most states have enacted “defense of marriage” laws limiting marriage to relationships between a man and a woman. More recently, state legislatures and courts have made decisions to allow same sex marriage.

NCSL staff track state legislative and judicial decisions on same-sex marriage and provide assistance to legislators on these issues.

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