Marriage equality status

(Latest update to this page: 6 January 2015, 10:05 a.m. Pacific time.)

As of summer 2015, this page is outdated, overtaken by the US Supreme Court's decision in favor of marriage equality throughout the US. I'm leaving the page up, in its last-updated form, as a historical document.

This page is an attempt to stay up-to-date on the status of marriage equality in many US states after 6 October 2014.

Latest news

This section shows the past week's updates, for quick reference. Everything here is also covered in the state-by-state table below, so this section shows only about one week of news.

As of early January 2015, things have been fairly quiet lately, but a bunch of things are scheduled to happen over the next week or two.

In particular, the US Supreme Court will be considering this coming Friday, 9 Jan, whether to take up various appeals.

6 Jan: Florida
Couples are getting married!
2 Jan: Idaho
Gov appeals to US Supreme Court.
1 Jan: Florida
Federal (district) judge Hinkle clarifies that counties must let same-sex couples marry starting on 6 Jan.
23 Dec: Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
US Supreme Court schedules five states' cases for review during its 9 Jan conference.

Background and what's on this page

Before 6 October, nineteen states had marriage equality; those aren't included on this page. The table below currently includes the following:

  • The eleven states that directly and indirectly gained marriage equality when SCOTUS decided not to take appeals on 6 October. This group includes all states in the 4th, 7th, and 10th Circuits.
  • The five that were directly and indirectly affected by the 9th Circuit's pro-equality decision on 7 October.
  • The four that were directly affected by the 6th Circuit's anti-equality decision on 6 November.
  • Seven other states that have been in the news regarding marriage equality lately.
  • Puerto Rico.

For info on the four remaining non-equality states that aren't listed on this page (Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota), see What happens next in the 20 states that still ban gay marriage?

Note about the Supreme Court: The current status in a great many states has been thrown into disarray by the anti-equality ruling issued by the 6th Circuit court of appeals on 6 November. I'm continuing to update this page, but it's conceivable that some states that seemed settled could become unsettled if the US Supreme Court rules against us in 2015. (Not all states, but some.) You may be interested to see the SCOTUSblog's analysis of Paths to same-sex marriage review; the most important point is that all six of the plaintiffs in the 6th Circuit cases are appealing directly to the Supreme Court. But that page also makes clear that it would be possible for various other cases to appeal to the Supreme Court now.

State-by-state status

The “Updated” dates in this table are the date when I last updated that state's info in this table, not the date of the last-quoted article.

Light green indicates almost certain or almost final; darker green indicates that things are completely settled and there will be no more appeals. Note that couples are also getting married even in some states where things are nowhere near settled.

Numbers indicate approximate order of achieving equality. Don't trust those too much; they're intended for use in sorting the table. (Which is why the almost-done ones are numbered 50.)

State Circuit Updated Status Links
Alaska 9th 22 Nov 2014 50. Federal (district court) judge rules, 12 Oct, in favor of marriage equality. After various delays and legal wrangles, couples are getting married, as of 20 Oct. State appeals ruling to a larger panel of the 9th Circuit (en banc), but that appeal is rejected (18 Nov). AK gov has various options for further appeal. Further appeals are likely to be rejected, but I'm not counting this as settled and done until they're resolved. Note: In general, seems to be the most up-to-date and reliable source of info. Federal judge adds Alaska to list of same-sex marriage states, U.S. Supreme Court rules Alaska same-sex marriages can go forward; state vows to keep appealing, Plaintiffs challenging Alaska's same-sex marriage ban legally wed after week of legal back-and-forth, Appeals court again rejects Alaska on same-sex marriage ban; governor-elect considering defense
Arizona 9th 18 Oct 2014 27. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. (Federal judge strikes down ban; AZ AG says he won't appeal, tells clerks to issue licenses.) Same-sex marriages to begin in Arizona after judge strikes down ban, Arizona gay marriage: Couples get married, celebrate
Arkansas 8th 2 Jan 2015

In state court case, 500+ weddings took place in 2014 when state court initially ruled pro-equality, before state Supreme Court stayed the decision. State Supreme Court decides, 18 Dec or so, to hold off on deciding the case until 2015.

In federal court, federal (district) judge Baker rules in favor of equality, 25 Nov, but stays ruling pending appeal. AR AG appeals to 8th Circuit, 23 Dec.

Where Arkansas gay marriage cases go from here, Gay marriage bans in Arkansas, Mississippi stuck down by federal judges, both pending appeals, Arkansas appeals marriage ruling to Eighth Circuit, Arkansas Supreme Court delays same-sex marriage ruling -- for now
Colorado 10th 7 Oct 2014 21. Settled and done. CO AG: “Beginning today, Colorado’s 64 county clerks are legally required to issue licenses to same-sex couples who request them.” Same-Sex Marriage Officially Legal In Colorado
Florida 11th 6 Jan 2015

Two state judges overturn ban; FL AG appeals to state court of appeals, 18 Nov.

Meanwhile, in separate case, ACLU asks federal judge Hinkle (14 Oct) to lift stay; Hinkle maintains stay until 5 Jan 2015 but makes clear that the state must allow weddings starting 6 Jan; FL AG appeals to 11th Circuit, which hasn't responded yet. FL AG also says she won't stand in the way of weddings starting, but she hasn't withdrawn her appeal.

Couples are getting married, as of 6 Jan.

Florida AG Asks Appeals Court To Overrule Same-Sex Marriage Rulings, US Judge Won’t Lift Stay In Florida Gay Marriage, Federal ruling clears way for same-sex marriage in Florida, starting on Tuesday, After state ban is lifted, gays marry across Florida
Idaho 9th 2 Jan 2015

9th Circuit ruled in favor of marriage equality, various appeals failed, and couples are getting married.

However, even though ID gov Otter originally said he wouldn't appeal, he appealed to the full 9th Circuit, en banc (21 Oct). There is very little chance they'll agree to hear the appeal, and as of 2 Jan they haven't responded to the appeal. But ID gov has now appealed to US Supreme Court (2 Jan). And given the 6th Circuit ruling, he could still win. So I've removed this state from the almost-settled category.

Same-sex marriage begins in Idaho, Same-sex marriage in Idaho, Gay marriage ruling heartens Idaho officials, Otter appeals Idaho gay marriage decision to U.S. Supreme Court
Indiana 7th 9 Oct 2014 24. Settled and done. All counties now issuing licenses. All Indiana counties now issuing same-sex marriage licenses
Kansas 10th 2 Jan 2015

(Should be covered by 10th Circuit ruling, but complicated legal maneuvering continues.)

One county judge orders clerks to issue licenses in that county only; one license issued; KS AG asks KS Supreme Court to stop the one county; Court agrees, says no more licenses; Court schedules hearing, then postpones it indefinitely, then says it will begin deliberations 17 Nov.

Meanwhile, separately, ACLU files federal suit to end ban; federal judge Crabtree (district court) rules in favor of equality (4 Nov); KS AG appeals to 10th Circuit; US Supreme Court allows a stay, then lifts stay (12 Nov), allowing couples to marry; however, KS Supreme Court declares that the lifting of the stay only applies to KS counties where a judge in the county allows same-sex marriages. The result, for now, being that couples are getting married in some KS counties but not in others.

Meanwhile, even though the state is issuing marriage licenses in some counties, state agencies refuse to recognize the resulting marriages until the lawsuits are over.

Judge Crabtree tells parties in federal suit that they have to give him a schedule by the end of Jan 2015.

Kansas Supreme Court blocks gay marriage licenses, Kansas Supreme Court puts off gay-marriage hearing, Federal judge rules against Kansas's gay marriage ban, Schmidt notifies 10th U.S. Circuit appeals court of gay marriage challenge, Supreme Court Lets Gay Marriages Proceed in Kansas, Kansas has 105 counties, but only a handful are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kansas Supreme Court Allows More Gay Marriages, Same-sex marriage licenses can be issued in Johnson County, Timeline: Same-Sex Marriage In Missouri And Kansas, Brownback Won't Allow Marriage Rights To Gay Couples In Kansas, Judge acts to speed up Kansas same-sex marriage ruling
Kentucky 6th 2 Jan 2015 6th Circuit overrules lower-court ruling, rejects marriage equality. Plaintiffs appeal to US Supreme Court. SCOTUS will consider on 9 Jan whether to take the appeal. Court upholds 4 same-sex marriage bans; will Supreme Court review?, Sixth Circuit: Now, a split on same-sex marriage, Ky. same-sex marriage may head to Supreme Court, Supreme Court Will Consider Additional Marriage Cases
Louisiana 5th 2 Jan 2015 State judge ruled ban unconstitutional (ruling being appealed to state Supreme Court); separately, federal judge upheld ban. Latter ruling being appealed to 5th Circuit, which has scheduled hearing for 9 Jan 2015; that court is considered very conservative, and might allow the ban to stand, but two of the three judges who'll be hearing the case aren't as conservative as others in that court. Plaintiffs also appeal directly to US Supreme Court, 20 Nov; SCOTUS will consider on 9 Jan whether to take the appeal. What happens next in the 20 states that still ban gay marriage?, Fifth Circuit to hear Texas, Louisiana marriage cases in January, New same-sex marriage case at the Court, Supreme Court adds Louisiana marriage case to January 9 conference, Relatively moderate three-judge panel will hear Fifth Circuit marriage cases
Michigan 6th 19 Nov 2014 6th Circuit overrules lower-court ruling, rejects marriage equality. Plaintiffs appeal to US Supreme Court; SCOTUS will consider on 9 Jan whether to take the appeal. Court upholds 4 same-sex marriage bans; will Supreme Court review?, Sixth Circuit: Now, a split on same-sex marriage, Michigan couple take gay marriage plea to high court, Supreme Court could decide Jan. 9 to take gay marriage case
Mississippi 5th 2 Jan 2015 Federal (district) judge Reeves issues preliminary injunction in favor of equality, but stays ruling pending appeal. State appeals to 5th Circuit, which will hear case on 9 Jan (same day as Texas and Louisiana, but the cases are separate). Judge overturns Mississippi same-sex marriage ban, Mississippi appealing ruling in gay marriage case, Everything You Need to Know Now About Marriage Equality in Mississippi
Missouri 8th 2 Jan 2015

MO state judge Burlison rules in favor of equality, 5 Nov, but decision may apply only in city of St. Louis. Couples in St. Louis are getting married. MO AG will appeal to MO Supreme Court, but is not requesting a stay.

In a separate case, federal (district) judge Smith rules in favor of equality, 7 Nov, but stays ruling pending appeals, but Jackson County starts issuing licenses anyway? I'm not sure whether a stay is or isn't in effect, but couples in Jackson County are getting married. MO AG has appealed to 8th Circuit.

Judge strikes down Missouri same-sex marriage ban, Missouri's gay marriage ban thrown out; St. Louis issuing licenses, Many Missouri counties not granting same-sex marriage licenses after St. Louis court ruling, Judge rules Missouri ban on gay marriage violates Constitution, Timeline: Same-Sex Marriage In Missouri And Kansas, Missouri appeals marriage ruling to Eighth Circuit
Montana 9th 19 Nov 2014

(Should be covered by 9th Circuit ruling, but legal maneuvering continues.)

Federal (district) judge Morris rules in favor of equality, and couples are getting married. However, MT AG will appeal to 9th Circuit, which has already ruled in favor of equality, but things are a bit up in the air right now due to developments in 6th Circuit.

Ninth Circuit ruling could mean gay marriage in Montana, Montana Marriage Ban Overturned; Licenses Granted, Montana same-sex marriage ban overturned, effective immediately
Nevada 9th 23 Oct 2014

50. Essentially settled and done, but recent twists have made me reluctant to mark this as done.

On the one hand, couples are getting married, and the state is not going to appeal the 9th Circuit ruling. But on the other hand, a third-party group, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, is appealing the ruling, asking the entire 9th Circuit to revisit the case “en banc” (as opposed to just the three judges from before). The chances of the 9th Circuit taking that appeal, under the circumstances, are very small. However, 9th Circuit asks, 22 Oct, for both the plaintiffs and the defendants to file responses to the request for hearing en banc, by 12 Nov or so.

Presumably as things develop, more items will appear on the relevant page of their website.

Federal judge signs injunction allowing gay marriage in Nevada, Group trying to revive Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban
North Carolina 4th 2 Jan 2015

50. On 10 Oct, a federal judge (Cogburn) rejected a request by Republican state legislators Tillis and Berger to intervene in his case, and declared the matter settled (and same-sex marriage legal). Couples are getting married.

However, on 14 Oct, another federal judge (Osteen) allowed the legislators to intervene in a pair of separate cases. Osteen agreed with Cogburn that the 4th Circuit's ruling strikes down NC's ban on marriage equality; but by allowing the legislators to intervene, Osteen has opened up a new possible avenue of appeal, and the legislators have stated that they're going to appeal. So it is now possible, although very unlikely at this point, that the legislators could get a higher court to put a stop to same-sex weddings in NC (they apparently have 30 days to file an appeal). ACLU has asked that the legislators not be given standing (14 Nov or so), but no answer yet on that.

On 12 Dec, Tillis and Berger asked the 4th Circuit to put its hearings regarding their appeal on hold, so that they can instead appeal directly to the US Supreme Court.

So even though NC currently has marriage equality and will probably continue to have it, I'm not yet marking this state as settled and done.

Gay marriage now legal in North Carolina, Judge: GOP can intervene in gay marriage cases, Tillis, Berger to appeal same-sex marriage ruling, attorney says, ACLU challenges appeal of gay marriage by NC lawmakers, Tillis, Berger want Supreme Court to hear N.C. marriage case
Ohio 6th 2 Jan 2015 6th Circuit overrules lower-court ruling, rejects marriage equality. Plaintiffs appeal to US Supreme Court; SCOTUS will consider on 9 Jan whether to take the appeal. Court upholds 4 same-sex marriage bans; will Supreme Court review?, Sixth Circuit: Now, a split on same-sex marriage, Will the Supreme Court's Next Marriage Case Come From Ohio?, Supreme Court to consider Ohio’s gay-marriage ban
Oklahoma 10th 7 Oct 2014 22. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. Same-sex marriage now is legal in Oklahoma
Puerto Rico 1st 2 Jan 2015 Federal judge rules against marriage equality. Lambda Legal appeals to the 1st Circuit. But even though all the states in the 1st Circuit already have marriage equality via other means, the 1st Circuit's last ruling on the issue (a while back) didn't support equality, so it's possible that the 1st Circuit would support this ruling. Opening hearings for 1st Circuit appeal scheduled for 26 Jan 2015. Puerto Rico federal court dismisses same-sex marriage lawsuit, Puerto Rico marriage ruling appealed, Equality news round-up: news from the First Circuit on transgender rights and marriage, and more
South Carolina 4th 6 Jan 2014

(Should be covered by 4th Circuit ruling, but legal maneuvering continues.)

There are at least three relevant cases in progress, at least two of which are in federal courts. On 12 Nov, federal (district) judge Gergel ruled in favor of equality, but granted a one-week stay to give SC AG a chance to appeal, which he said he would do. On 19 Nov, both SC Supreme Court and 4th Circuit decide against stays; couples are now getting married, although appeals are ongoing.

The two main cases in federal court have been combined into one by the 4th Circuit (around 17 Dec), which then put the case on hold pending further developments from the US Supreme Court.

SC Supreme Court stops same-sex marriage license, Federal judge mulling SC's same-sex marriage challenge case says she may hold hearing, South Carolina's 2nd gay marriage lawsuit: Couple who applied for, was not issued license sues, Two same-sex marriage cases inch forward in South Carolina, SC: Couple can't bring same-sex federal lawsuit, More challenges filed SC's same-sex marriage ban, Supreme Court Lifts Injunction on Same-Sex Licenses, 1st gay marriage licenses issued in South Carolina, SC same-sex marriage ban overturned by federal judge, Appeals court combines SC marriage cases
South Dakota 8th 19 Nov 2014 SD AG asks federal judge Schreier to dismiss challenge to SD's ban, on the grounds that the 8th Circuit ruled in 2006 to allow Nebraska's similar ban. Judge decides to allow challenge. No quick decision made in S.D. gay marriage lawsuit, Gay marriage battle continues in South Dakota
Texas 5th 20 Nov 2014 TX AG files brief (opposing marriage equality) with 5th Circuit Court of Appeals; 5th Circuit schedules hearing for 9 Jan 2015. Meanwhile, state legislators have introduced bills to end the ban. Greg Abbott: Banning Gay Marriage Reduces Out-Of-Wedlock Births, Texas lawmakers introduce bills to legalize same-sex marriage in the state
Tennessee 6th 2 Jan 2015 6th Circuit overrules lower-court ruling, rejects marriage equality. Plaintiffs appeal to US Supreme Court; SCOTUS will consider on 9 Jan whether to take the appeal. Court upholds 4 same-sex marriage bans; will Supreme Court review?, Sixth Circuit: Now, a split on same-sex marriage, Petition for certiorari filed in the Ohio [UPDATE: and Tennessee] marriage cases, Supreme Court Will Consider Additional Marriage Cases
Utah 10th 10 Oct 2014 25. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. Utah abandons fight to bar same-sex couples from spousal benefits, Utah drops appeal of 2nd gay marriage ruling, Same-sex marriage in Utah in photos and videos
Virginia 4th 6 Oct 2014 20. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. Gay Couples Wed After Same-Sex Marriage Decision
West Virginia 4th 10 Oct 2014 26. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. First marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in West Virginia
Wisconsin 7th 7 Oct 2014 23. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in Wisconsin
Wyoming 10th 21 Oct 2014 28. Settled and done. Couples are getting married. WY gov and other defendants have filed a notice saying they won't appeal. Wyoming added to same-sex marriage list

Note about article contents: It happens remarkably often that a news article is later replaced by a nearly entirely different article at the same URL, so apologies if some of these links no longer say what they used to.