SCOTUS Press Room
Marriage in the States
Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Statewide prohibitions against marriage for same-sex couples are in place in 13 states — either in the form of statutory law or voter-approved amendment to the state’s constitution.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor in 2013, more than 80 cases have made their way through federal and state courts--and countless lawyers, litigation organizations and plaintiffs have worked tirelessly for decades to make the progress of Obergefell v. Hodges possible.
Though marriage equality is the law of the land in 37 states and the District of Columbia, in 14 of those very same states where same-sex couples can be married, there are no explicit, reliable, or fundamental federal protections for LGBT Americans, with regard to employment, housing, or public accommodations. This means that in 14 states, a same-sex couple risks being married one afternoon and then fired the next morning.
Beginning May 12, 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia will have statewide employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, an additional 3 states have these protections based on sexual orientation only.
Beginning May 12, 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia will have statewide housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, an additional 3 states have these protections based on sexual orientation only.
17 states and the District of Columbia have statewide public accommodations protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while an additional 4 states have these protections based on sexual orientation only. Learn More.
On April 28, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges. The court announced that it would hear the case which originated in Ohio this past January, along with 3 other same-sex marriage cases, Bourke v. Beshear (Kentucky), Tanco v. Haslam (Tennessee) and DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan). The arguments have been consolidated and the case has formally been named Obergefell v. Hodges. Learn More.
Presidential Hopefuls on Marriage Eqaulity
As a resource to journalists, HRC launched 2016 Republican Facts, a website which highlights the public statements of Republican candidates on key issues including support for marriage equality. So far, all potential GOP nominees are publicly opposed to marriage equality. Hillary Clinton, the sole announced Democratic contender, first came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2013 in an exclusive video for HRC. She has since urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality. Learn More.
Congressional Marriage Positions
Through extensive research of publicly-available materials, including news reports and campaign and official websites, as well as direct contact with congressional offices, HRC has compiled this resource to show where members of Congress stand on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples.Learn More.
Overview of Federal Marriage Rights and Protections
There are more than 1100 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law. In June 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which excluded same-sex married couples from recognition for all federal benefits and programs . Because of this ruling, same-sex married couples across the country have been recognized for federal purposes for the first time. However, the persistent patchwork of state marriage laws continues to stand in the way of many couples fully accessing the federal benefits they have earned including Social Security and Veterans Benefits. View a summary of several categories of federal laws contingent upon marital status.Learn More.
Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans from all walks of life support marriage rights nationwide for committed and loving same-sex couples. And even more believe it’s wrong for the federal government to discriminate against legally-married same-sex couples. Learn More.
Read the polls:
- NBC News/ Wall Street Journal, May 2015
58 percent of Americans favor a SCOTUS decision eliminating bans against same-sex marriage
- Washington Post/ABC News, April 2015
61 percent of Americans believe that LGBT couples should be allowed to get married
- Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, March 2015
33 percent of Americans oppose marriage equality, an all-time low
- HRC Poll, February 2015
60 percent of likely voters support marriage equality
- CNN/ORC Poll, February 2015
63 percent of Americans say same-sex couples have the right to marry
- Pew Research, September 2014
67 percent of Millennials support marriage equality
- Public Religion Research Institute, February 2014
70 percent of Americans between ages 18-29 support marriage equality
- Bloomberg Politics Poll, April 2015
74 percent of Americans believe that sexual orientation should be a protected class
- NBC News Poll, April 2015
63 percent of Americans say business owners should be required to provide products and services to gays and lesbians
- Reuters/Ipsos Poll, April 2015
52 percent of Americans believe that businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs
- Reuters/Ipsos Poll, March 2014
65 percent of respondents said that businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians even if it violates the business owner's religious beliefs