If the past week is any indication, gay marriage is coming to a state near you — and soon. On Monday, Oregon became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriages. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the 19th. The next day, plaintiffs in Montana filed the first challenge to the ban on gay marriage there, and the day after that, the same thing happened in South Dakota — leaving North Dakota as the lone state with a ban that hasn't been challenged. The gains in marriage equality have been a victory for not just gay couples, but for their families. West and Rummell — two plaintiffs in Oregon's case to reverse the ban on same-sex marriage — formally adopted Jay in February.
Same-sex marriage in the United States - Wikipedia
In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government and has been legalized in 36 U. Among the 38 states where same-sex marriage is legal to at least some degree, marriage is open to same-sex couples statewide in 35 of those, while it is restricted in 3 of them. Missouri recognizes same-sex marriages from out of state and same-sex marriages licensed by the City of St. Louis under a state court order ; two other jurisdictions issue such licenses as well.
After the unexpected decision by the US supreme court not to hear a series of appeals, same-sex marriage is now legal in 32 US states. So what about the 18 remaining states? South Carolina, Montana and Kansas are in this category, covered by the fourth, ninth, and 10th circuits. In other states, even if a district judge rules that a ban is unconstitutional, the case would still need to run up the appeals process. Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage hope the supreme court will weigh in and clear things up.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. Same-sex couples in several affected states including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas rushed to wed on Friday. However officials in other states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, said marriages had to wait until procedural issues were addressed.