Marriage Equality: Where Are We At?

There has been a lot of movement in marriage equality recently that I felt it best to wrangle all the information together in one post.

We already know that marriage equality currently exists in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Iowa, and Washington D.C. Here’s where we stand in other states.

Washington State

Most recently, Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signed a marriage equality bill just last week. The law will go into effect on June 7 if signatures for a voter referendum aren’t received by June 6. Marriage equality opponents are quickly exploring all their options in order to prevent homosexual couples from marrying in their state.

I see this as a tentative victory. If the voter referendum fails, then marriage equality will be good for Washington State.

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the marriage equality bill, which was passed by both state houses, on Friday. Gov. Christie’s conditional veto included “the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey’s strong tradition of tolerance and fairness. The Ombudsman will be charged with increasing awareness of the law regarding civil unions, will provide a clear point of contact for those who have questions or concerns and will be required to report any evidence of the law being violated,” as reported by ThinkProgress.

This is an epic failure for Gov. Christie. Even though the people support marriage equality, Christie allowed his personal beliefs to cloud his responsibility to the people he serves.


The Maryland House of Representatives passed a marriage equality bill on Friday. The measure heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and if it passes there, it will head to the full assembly.

This has the potential to be another victory for marriage equality.


With the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold Judge Walker’s ruling that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, marriage equality has the potential to return to the state after the Supreme Court of the United States decides to hear the case or not.

In my opinion, this is a victory-in-waiting. I firmly believe that if the SCotUS hears the case, they will decide marriage inequality as unconstitutional. After all, it has been the SCotUS that has brought civil rights to the land.


A marriage equality bill titled the Religious Freedom and Marriage Freedom Act was introduced earlier this month. The success of the measure isn’t known even though it has the support of the governor.

I still see this as a success even though the outcome is unknown. With gubernatorial support, marriage equality in Illinois has potential.

Rhode Island

Last year, Rhode Island allowed civil unions for same-sex couples, but advocates in the state are calling for marriage equality, and a bill will “definitely” be introduced during this legislative session.

To me, this is another victory.

Overall, that’s a lot of progress in a relatively short span of time. Within the next year or two, we could have marriage equality in over 10 states, especially when you can recall Massachusetts being the first and only state where gay marriage was ever legal.


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