Thursday, November 13, 2008

California, Arizona and Florida Join Long List of States Banning Gay Marriage

Two more states besides California - namely, Arizona and Florida - have joined the list of nearly 30 U.S. states banning gay marriage, as the result of last week's elections. Although California still has civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, most of the states with bans, including Arizona and Florida, do not have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or any kind of recognition of these relationships. For a basic overview, see this New York Times article about the three state bans, and also read this from the New Hampshire Family Law Blog.

It seems the Northeast, and particularly New England, is exceptional. Massachusetts and Connecticut are now the only states sanctioning gay marriage. Vermont and New Hampshire have civil unions and Maine also has a degree of recognition of same-sex relationships through domestic partnerships. New York recognizes same-sex marriages formed in other states, and New Jersey also has civil unions. Outside this, our very tolerant area of the country, only the West Coast states have some formal, legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples: California still has civil unions, while Oregon and Washington have domestic partnerships.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

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