BREAKING: Here’s The Map Of What Marriage Equality Looks Like In The US Today (UPDATED 10/21/14)
Same-sex couples can marry in a majority of states in the country — something that was not true until October 2014. Since the Supreme Court decided not to hear appeals of challenges to five states’ marriage bans on Oct. 6, the ground has been shifting quickly.
As the process continues to play out, BuzzFeed News will be updating this map and the descriptions below to keep tabs on what’s happening at any given moment in the many challenges to bans playing out across the country.
States With Full Marriage Equality:
In the less than 10-and-a-half years since same-sex couples began marrying in Massachusetts, 24 other states and Washington, D.C., have joined the ranks of states where same-sex couples can marry.
In 13 jurisdictions, lawmakers voted for marriage equality — although voters initially reversed that action in Maine and the legislation was vetoed in California. The other 11 jurisdictions: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
Voters in three states approved marriage equality at the polls: Maine in an initiative the reversed voters’ earlier decision, as well as Maryland and Washington, where efforts to reverse marriage equality through a referendum were rebuffed.
State courts, considering state law, found a right to marriage equality in Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, and New Mexico — although constitutional amendments later reversed those decisions in Hawaii and California.
Finally, beginning with Utah, the final frontier of marriage equality — federal courts considering federal rights — led to marriage equality after courts found bans on same-sex couples’ marriages to be unconstitutional in 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
States With Marriage Equality, But With Related Appeal Still Pending:
In this quickly changing environment, there are a growing number of states where same-sex couples are able to marry — but a related appeal, from some person or organization, is ongoing.
In Oregon, the National Organization for Marriage attempted to intervene in the case and was denied. They appealed that denial, were rejected, and have asked the full appeals court to rehear their appeal. In light of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that outside groups have no standing to appeal a marriage decision when state or local officials no longer are appealing the issue, NOM is unlikely to succeed in this appeal.
In Nevada, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage has asked the full appeals court to rehear last week’s decision striking down Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages. For the same reason as with the Prop 8 case, the coalition here is unlikely to succeed in this appeal request.
In North Carolina, state lawmakers have attempted to intervene in marriage litigation and could attempt to appeal decisions ending the state’s marriage ban.
In Alaska and Idaho, officials have said they will be appealing the district court and appeals court decisions, respectively, further.
States With A Marriage Decision On Hold Pending Appeal:
Several decisions in favor of marriage equality or requiring recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages granted elsewhere are on hold, or stayed, while appeals are ongoing.
These include federal appeals in the 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, and 11th Circuit courts of appeals, as well as some state courts.
In the 5th Circuit, appeals are pending from Texas, where the state’s ban was ruled to be unconstitutional, and Louisiana, where it was upheld.
In the 6th Circuit, arguments were held in early August regarding all four states’ bans. A decision is eagerly awaited, and it will address the marriage ban in Kentucky and Michigan and marriage recognition in Ohio and Tennessee. In all four states, the state lost at the trial court.
In the 11th Circuit, an appeal is pending from Florida, where the state’s ban was struck down in the trial court.
State court appeals are pending in three states, where trial courts struck down the bans in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana.
States With Marriage Recognition, But Not Full Marriage Equality:
After a Missouri state court ordered that out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples must be recognized in the state, Missouri’s attorney general announced the state would not be appealing the decision.
States Where Marriage Equality Is Expected To Follow In Short Order:
Because four federal appeals courts have decided that state bans on same-sex couples’ marriages are unconstitutional, that is the precedent in — or law of — those circuits. It is expected, therefore, that other states in those circuits with marriage bans will have those bans struck down in short order.
In the 4th Circuit, South Carolina officials continue to defend the ban and a federal case challenging the ban is pending.
In the 9th Circuit, Montana still bans same-sex couples from marrying and a federal case is pending.
In the 10th Circuit, Kansas officials continue to defend the ban. State court proceedings challenging the ban are pending the state, as is a federal challenge.
States Still Awaiting Action On Marriage Equality:
There are only six states without marriage equality or marriage recognition where marriage equality is not anticipated in short order due to circuit precedent and where no marriage decisions are on hold pending appeal.
They are Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
There are pending marriage, marriage recognition, or divorce cases pending in some of these states, but there have been no decisions in favor of same-sex couples there thus far.
Source: Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed News