Massachusetts' legalization of same-sex marriage is causing other states to grapple with their stance on these unions. Following is a breakdown of how the 50 states and the District of Columbia are dealing with such matters as changing their constitutions to bar same-sex marriage or creating alternatives to marriage for same-sex couples.

Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry


Provide Domestic Partner Benefits

California; Connecticut; District of Columbia; Hawaii

Allow Civil Unions


(California and New Jersey provide similar benefits to those of the civil unions in Vermont)

Give Partner Benefits for State Employees

California; Connecticut; District of Columbia; Iowa; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington

Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Thirty-nine states specifically ban the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. The following DO NOT:

Connecticut; District of Columbia; Massachusetts; Maryland; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Wisconsin; Wyoming

Ban Same-Sex Marriage in State Constitution

Alaska; Hawaii; Nebraska; Nevada

Current Ballot Initiatives Banning Same-Sex Marriage

Arkansas; Mississippi; Delaware; Missouri; Georgia; Montana; Kentucky; Ohio; Massachusetts; Oregon; Michigan; Utah; Minnesota

Sources: Human Rights Campaign, Stateline.org