Now that the so-called "Defense of Marriage" act has been declared unconstitutional, I've made some maps to show everyone where we stand right now in terms of marriage equality rights — and, of course, our right to marry guinea pigs.
You can click each of the maps to see a large-scale version.
First off, Marriage Equality Laws in the States, as of April 2, 2010.
(Many thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for this information)
A few quick notes (also from the HRC):
States that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples: CT (2008), D.C. (2010), IA (2009), MA (2004), NH (2010) and VT(2009).
States that recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction: MD (2010) and NY (2008).
States with a statewide law providing the equivalent of state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples within the state: CA (domestic partnerships (DP), 1999, expanded in 2005), NV (DP, 2009), NJ (civil unions, 2007), OR (DP, 2008) and WA DP, 2007/2009).
States with statewide law providing some statewide spousal rights to same-sex couples within the state: CO (designated beneficiaries, 2009), HI (reciprocal beneficiaries, 1997), ME (2004), and WI (DP, 2009).
• California: Same-sex marriages that took place between June 16, 2008 and November 4, 2008 continue to be defined as marriages. On October 12, 2009, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that recognizes same sex marriages from out of state that occurred between the June to November 2008 time frame as marriages in California, and all other out of state same-sex marriages as domestic partnerships.
• Maine: Gov. John Baldacci signed marriage equality legislation May 6, 2009. However, the new law was repealed by a ballot measure in November 2009.
• Maryland does not have a registry but does provide certain benefits to statutorily defined domestic partners. Also, in Feb. 2010, the Maryland Attorney General issued an advisory opinion declaring that the state can recognize out of jurisdiction marriages.
• Rhode Island does not have a registry but does provide certain benefits to statutorily defined domestic partners. In Feb 2007, the Rhode Island Attorney General issued an advisory opinion declaring that the state can recognize out of jurisdiction marriages. However, in Dec. 2007the Rhode Island Supreme Court refused to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts.
Next, how many states would let me marry my sexy Brazilian cousins?
(Check out Mother Jones' hilarious article+map, from which I took this information)
Side note: is it okay if I refer to Mother Jones, grammatically, as a person/single entity and not as a magazine? Thanks. That's way more amusing (and it feels right).
Some "fun" facts (with thanks to 11 points):
It is legal in all 50 states to marry your second cousin.
Some caveats given by states in order to allow marrying your first-cousin, mostly based on the idea that it's okay to be a gross incestuous person, as long as there's no chance you'll birth some ungodly monstrosity:
• One (or both) of you are adopted and you give proof (LA, MS, OR, WV)
• You've done it elsewhere (IN, KS, LA, NE, OK, WA, WV, and WY honor it; AK and MI turn a blind eye)
• If you're old and/or infertile (IN: over 65 and infertile, WI over 55 for the female partner or at least one member of the couple is infertile, IL over 50 or one is infertile; AZ over 65 or one is infertile; UT over 65, or over 55 if one is infertile )
• It's permitted by "aboriginal culture" (MN, applies mostly to the Dakota Sioux, Ojibwe and Chippewa tribes)
•You submit to genetic counseling (ME)
•Your parents weren't cousins too (NC)
States in which I could totally do my guinea pig (or even bigger animals, like cows or Mel Gibson) and the state-by-state rundown, after the jump!
Historically, people have married animals as part of religious traditions or to bring good luck. Go figure. Wikipedia has some descriptions of historic cases of humans marrying animals, including a cat, a cow, a horse, a dog, a dolphin,a goat, and a snake. If you're really interested (this is a dangerous google search), there's more detailed information on laws regarding zoophilia here.
So what happens when we put it all together?
Here's what happens when I put all my maps together. There are many shades of gray, as it were, but here's the breakdown:
Alabama: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats, and you can probably get away with screwing ol' Bessie
Alaska: Allows cousins to marry but no gay marriage and no plugging the blowhole.
Arizona: Recognizes cousin-cousin marriages from other states and that's it; no word on if they consider illegal immigrants animals or not.
Arkansas: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
California: Provides equivalent spousal rights to same-sex couples and allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
Colorado: Provides some spousal rights to same-sex couples and allows cousins to marry.
Connecticut lets you have it all: marry your same-sex cousin and make your dachshund a wiener dog.
Delaware: Doesn't let you to do anything fun.
Florida: You can marry your cousin and fuck a marlin, but you can't marry someone of the same sex. But hey, LeBron James is there now!
Georgia: Marry cousin Scarlett; frankly, my dear, they don't give a damn.
Hawaii: Allows some spousal rights to same-sex couples, allows cousins to marry with caveats, and allows teaching the gerbil spelunking.
Idaho is why you can't have nice things.
Illinois: Recognizes cousin-cousin marriages as long as it wasn't on their soil.
Indiana: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
Iowa: Allows same-sex marriage and nothing else.
Kansas: You can marry Dorothy, even if she's your cousin! But only if you're a guy.
Kentucky will let you stick your genitals in Seabiscuit, but not marry your cousin or gay lover.
Louisiana: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
Maine: Allows some spousal rights to same-sex couples, recognizes cousin-cousin marriages from out of state.
Maryland: Recognizes same-sex marriages given in other states, allows cousins to marry.
Massachusetts: Allows both same-sex and cousin-cousin marriages.
Michigan don't let you get away with nothin'.
Minnesota doesn't either.
Mississippi's got its eyes on you.
Missouri doesn't believe in love.
Montana wishes unhappiness on everyone.
Nebraska: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
Nevada: Provides equivalent spousal rights to same-sex couples and allows strokin' your Whiskers.
New Hampshire: Allows same-sex marriage and "bonding" with your cat.
New Jersey: Provides equivalent spousal rights to same-sex couples, and you can marry your cousin or bang a fat, oily seal. Which is lucky, because sometimes it's hard to tell.
New Mexico: No same-sex anything, but all systems go for marrying cousins and tappin' that ass in more ways than one, if you know what I mean.
New York: Recognizes same-sex marriages given in other states and lets you marry your cousin.
North Carolina: Marry your cousin and no one else.
North Dakota allows nothing.
Ohio won't let you marry cousin Julie or be a loyal lesbo, but you can try the peanut butter trick with Rex.
Oklahoma: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
Oregon: Provides equivalent spousal rights to same-sex couples.
Pennsylvania leaves you empty inside.
Rhode Island's got nothin'.
South Carolina: Allows only sweet cousin-on-cousin action.
South Dakota's dead on the draw.
Tennessee: You can only marry your cousin.
Texas: You can marry your cousin and hump your horse, but no gay marriage for you!
Utah: Recognizes cousin-cousin marriages from other states…jury's out on if it recognizes multiple ones.
Vermont: You can do it all, marry the same-sex or your cousin and give the rabbit your carrot.
Virginia: Well, you can marry your cousin but you can't do much else.
Washington: Provides equivalent spousal rights to same-sex couples and allows cousins to marry, with caveats.
West Virginia: Allows marrying your cousin with caveats, and doing the horizontal tango with a snake.
Wisconsin: Allows some spousal rights to same-sex couples, honors first-cousin marriages from out of state.
Wyoming: Allows cousins to marry, with caveats, but come on over and bo-peep the sheep.
So the moral of the story is:
A. I love ridiculous euphemisms for sex with animals. (Thanks to twitter for the enthusiastic help, ShillyShallyNix in particular!)
B. Making maps is super fun.
C. The state laws of this country are ridiculous.
D. We should have marriage equality by now.
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