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. In Kansas , marriage licenses are available to same-sex couples in most counties, but the state does not recognize their validity. Some counties in Alabama issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples for three weeks until the state Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop doing so.
Obama administration moves to expand policies, but veterans and social security benefits require congressional action. The Obama administration is moving to expand the federal benefits offered to same-sex couples including some sick leave, social security and veterans affairs benefits regardless of whether the couple live in a state where their marriage is recognized. The move comes a year after the US supreme court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Doma , which found a federal ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional but didn't automatically grant federal benefits to same-sex couples. More than a dozen federal agencies had to adjust review and adjust more than 10, federal policies to actually extend the benefits to couples. Most of those agencies, everything from the Federal Elections Commission to the Department of Agriculture are rolling out regulations to recognize same-sex couples. However, Veterans Affairs and the Social Security administration — two far-reaching agencies with potent benefits — require Congress to take action to fully extend benefits. Among the changes: the family and medial leave act will allow same-sex partners to take leave from work to care for a sick partner; social security benefits will now be offered to same-sex survivors; and gay spouses are now eligible for burial in military cemeteries.
Getting Federal Benefits To Gay Couples: It's Complicated
The Federal Marriage Amendment FMA , also referred to by proponents as the Marriage Protection Amendment , was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would legally define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The FMA would also prevent judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex or other unmarried homosexual couples. An amendment to the U.
On June 26, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that all gay couples nationwide have the constitutional right to marry in every state! And with marriage equality for all, that means that all 13 states that previously upheld bans on gay marriage have now been legally enforced to reverse them. It's been a little more than 11 years since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. And before today, 36 other states as well as the District of Columbia followed suit, striking down bans on same-sex marriage and awarding gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones. So we've put together a comprehensive state-by-state list detailing the history of gay marriage in our country, some noteworthy facts about same-sex marriage in the US, plus a geographical history map of gay marriage states.