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Gay Marriage Laws in Louisiana

Gay Marriage Laws in Louisiana

Gay Marriage Laws in Louisiana: A Complex Legal Landscape

Louisiana, a state known for its rich history and cultural diversity, has had a complex relationship with the legality of same-sex marriage. In this article, we will explore the gay marriage laws in Louisiana, examining the key developments, legal challenges, and the current status of LGBTQ+ rights in the state.

1. Ban on Same-Sex Marriage:

a) Constitutional Amendment: In 2004, Louisiana became one of many states to pass a constitutional amendment explicitly defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. This amendment effectively banned same-sex marriage and denied legal recognition to gay couples.

2. Supreme Court Ruling and Legalization:

a) Obergefell v. Hodges: In a landmark decision in June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling invalidated the Louisiana constitutional amendment and granted same-sex couples the legal right to marry in the state.

b) Implementation and Acceptance: Following the Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriages became legally recognized in Louisiana. The state was required to comply with the decision, ensuring that gay couples could access the same legal benefits and protections as heterosexual couples.

3. Ongoing Challenges and Controversies:

a) Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA): To address concerns raised by opponents of same-sex marriage, Louisiana passed the RFRA in 2010. This act aimed to protect individuals and businesses from government action that substantially burdened their exercise of religious beliefs. However, there have been concerns that this law may be used to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals.

b) Adoption and Parental Rights: While same-sex couples in Louisiana can legally adopt children, there have been instances where religious-based adoption agencies claimed the right to deny placement based on objection to same-sex couples. These challenges highlight the ongoing struggle between religious beliefs and LGBTQ+ rights.

4. Continuing Advocacy and Progress:

a) LGBTQ+ Rights Organizations: Louisiana is home to several LGBTQ+ rights organizations that work towards promoting equality and inclusivity. These organizations engage in advocacy efforts, education initiatives, and legal challenges to ensure equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

b) Local Initiatives: Some cities in Louisiana, such as New Orleans and Shreveport, have enacted local ordinances to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and public services. These local initiatives represent steps toward increasing equality within the state.

Louisiana’s history with gay marriage laws has been a complex journey, from a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing it. While same-sex couples can now legally marry in the state, challenges related to religious freedom and discrimination persist. Advocacy by LGBTQ+ organizations, along with local initiatives, continues to push for progress and equality. By fostering dialogue, understanding, and respect, Louisiana can create a more inclusive society that values and protects the rights of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


In Louisiana, gay marriage is currently illegal. In fact, Louisiana enacted the Defense of Marriage act like many other states that sought to define marriage in legal terms. In Louisiana, marriage is only legally recognized if it is a union between a man and a woman due to the language in DOMA. In addition, Louisiana passed legislation that banned gay marriage and civil unions from being recognized by the state, regardless of where they were performed.

However, A judge overturned the legislation based on the fact that it covers same sex marriages and civil unions in unison. That ruling in currently being challenged in court. Currently, the legality of domestic partnership is not being questioned. Currently, in Louisiana, marriage is only recognized if it is a union between an opposite sex couple.

In Louisiana, gay rights are in serious decline. At one time, Louisiana had discrimination laws in place to protect the LGBT community. However, those protections were allowed to expire and the state currently offers no protections against discrimination in the LGBT community. Louisiana does currently cover sexual orientation under the hate crime laws, however gender identity is not covered by the Louisiana law.

In addition, Louisiana does not recognize same sex marriages that took place in another state. Same sex couples are afforded no legal rights or responsibilities because of their relationship. In Louisiana, gay rights seem to lacking the attention that they deserve. While the south is traditionally known for being more conservative, they should still strive to provide all citizens with equal rights.

In Louisiana, marriage or any form of a legally recognized same sex relationships, is legally forbidden. In fact, the laws are clearly discriminatory in Louisiana. Gay couples are offered no legal rights due to their relationship and in fact, they are offered no protection against discrimination. In Louisiana, Gay couples and individuals are fighting a battle to obtain the most basic rights afforded to the general public.

While the LGBT is currently not protected from discrimination, one cannot expect that they will receive equal rights. In Louisiana, marriage may always be an issue for the gay community. In fact, the struggle for equal rights appears to be far from over in Louisiana. Marriage is a basic right but LGBT citizens need to fight for even the most basic rights in Louisiana, and many other states as well.

Keep Yourself Safe with a State Driving Curfew

Keep Yourself Safe with a State Driving Curfew

Keep Yourself Safe with a State Driving Curfew: Promoting Responsible Teen Driving

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death among teenagers in the United States. In an effort to promote safer driving habits and reduce the risk of accidents, many states have implemented driving curfews for young drivers. These curfews set specific time restrictions on when new or inexperienced drivers can be on the road. In this article, we will explore the benefits of state driving curfews and provide insights into how they can help keep yourself safe on the road.

1. Promoting Safety:

Driving curfews are primarily aimed at promoting safety, particularly for young and inexperienced drivers. Studies have shown that the risk of motor vehicle accidents significantly increases during nighttime hours. By implementing driving curfews, states aim to limit the exposure of young drivers to dangerous driving conditions and reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by fatigue, impaired driving, or reduced visibility.

2. Addressing Fatigue and Drowsy Driving:

Teenagers, especially new drivers, may have irregular sleep patterns due to various factors like school commitments or social activities. Sleep deprivation or fatigue can impair judgment, reflexes, and decision-making skills, putting young drivers at a higher risk of accidents. State driving curfews help address this issue by restricting driving hours, ensuring teenagers get sufficient rest, and reducing the likelihood of drowsy driving incidents.

3. Curbing Impaired Driving:

Driving curfews also play a key role in curbing impaired driving among young drivers. By setting time restrictions, curfews reduce the opportunity for teenagers to engage in risky behaviors, such as alcohol or drug use, which can impair their ability to drive safely. These restrictions act as a deterrent and help promote responsible behavior by discouraging late-night partying or attending events where substance abuse may occur.

4. Gradual Skill Development:

Driving curfews often include restrictions on the number of passengers that new drivers can have in the vehicle during specific hours. This provision aims to limit distractions and peer influence, allowing new drivers to focus on developing their skills. By gradually increasing the number of passengers allowed over time, curfews encourage responsible driving habits and help new drivers gain more experience before taking on additional distractions.

5. Compliance and Enforcement:

To ensure the effectiveness of driving curfews, proper compliance and enforcement mechanisms are put in place. Law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in monitoring and enforcing curfew restrictions. Violating a driving curfew may result in penalties, such as fines, license suspension, or participation in defensive driving programs. These consequences serve as a deterrent and further promote adherence to curfew regulations.


State driving curfews for young drivers serve as an essential tool in promoting safer roads and reducing the risk of accidents involving inexperienced drivers. By addressing issues like fatigue, impaired driving, and distractions, these curfews help ensure that young drivers develop responsible habits and gain valuable experience gradually. It is crucial for teenagers and their parents to understand and comply with these restrictions to enhance their own safety and the safety of others on the road. By embracing driving curfews, we can create a culture of responsible driving and work towards significantly reducing the number of accidents involving young drivers.


Curfew laws will prevent people from going out into public and into specific kinds of public spaces at certain points in the day, most commonly at certain points in the evening considered to be particularly late, and applicable to people under a certain age considered to consign greater experience and self-control.

As such, curfew Laws in the U.S. can vary from state to state, and indeed from one municipality to another.

Curfew laws may thus be regarded as one of the basic functions which state and otherwise local governments are generally tasked with, as opposed to that of the federal government.

Curfew laws accordingly may vary in terms of the category of people on whom they are imposed, the particular hour of the day which curfew Laws require, and the enforcement measures which are put into place to enable curfew laws. As such, curfew Laws may involve different fines or penalties.

Does a Marriage Follow State Laws?

Does a Marriage Follow State Laws?

In the United States, each individual state will have its own state laws which are intended to promote the overall welfare of the state. However, even though state law is often times different from federal law, the United States as a country is ruled under federal law. 
State laws were created as a result of the reasons behind the American Revolution. Because it was a concern to implement a government that had all the central powers which could lead to a tyrannical rule, states were allowed to devise state laws to provide for the governing of the people within such states.
However, even though state law applies to each different state, It is the United States Federal Laws which rule the country as a whole. Furthermore, state laws and federal laws differ in the sense of the certain areas in which they apply. For example federal income tax concerns are governed by the federal laws, though matters such as marriage and divorce are overseen in state law. 

Is There a Difference Between Federal and State Law?

Is There a Difference Between Federal and State Law?

Is There a Difference Between Federal and State Law?

The legal system in the United States operates on a dual system, where both federal and state laws coexist. It is important to understand the distinction between these two bodies of law to navigate the intricacies of the legal landscape. In this article, we will explore the key differences between federal and state law and shed light on the jurisdictional boundaries that govern various legal matters.

1. Sources of Law:

Federal Law: Federal law is derived from the United States Constitution, the primary authority governing the entire nation. It also includes laws passed by Congress, federal regulations created by administrative agencies, and decisions issued by federal courts.

State Law: State law, on the other hand, derives its authority from individual state constitutions, statutes passed by state legislatures, regulations created by state agencies, and judicial decisions made by state courts. Each state has its own legal system, giving them the authority to regulate various aspects within their jurisdiction.

2. Jurisdiction:

Federal Jurisdiction: Federal law governs matters of national interest, such as interstate commerce, immigration, bankruptcy, patent and copyright law, civil rights, and constitutional issues. Additionally, federal law comes into play when a legal dispute arises between parties from different states or when a violation of federal law occurs.

State Jurisdiction: State law has jurisdiction over a broad range of issues that predominantly affect the state’s residents, including criminal law, family law, property law, contract law, business regulations, and personal injury cases. Each state may have its own variations within these areas, resulting in some differences in state laws among different jurisdictions.

3. Hierarchy and Supremacy:

Federal Supremacy: The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution establishes that federal law is supreme over state law. This means that if there is a conflict between a federal law and a state law on the same subject, the federal law prevails. However, federal law only extends to matters within the scope of federal authority, leaving certain areas exclusively under state jurisdiction.

State Autonomy: States retain the authority to establish their own laws and regulations, as long as they do not conflict with federal law. This allows each state to address unique concerns and tailor laws to suit its particular needs, while still operating within the overarching legal system established by the federal government.

4. Legal Interpretation and Courts:

Federal Courts: Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, interpret and apply federal law. They possess jurisdiction over cases involving federal crimes, disputes between states, constitutional issues, and violations of federal statutes. These courts play a crucial role in shaping and refining federal law through their decisions and precedents.

State Courts: State courts are responsible for interpreting and applying state law. They handle the vast majority of legal disputes, including criminal cases, civil matters, family law issues, and contract disputes that fall under state jurisdiction. State courts shape state law through their individual decisions, which may vary based on differences in interpretation and the specific legal principles adopted by each state.


Understanding the distinction between federal and state law is vital for comprehending the legal landscape in the United States. While federal law governs matters of national concern and interstate conflicts, state law encompasses a wide range of issues that affect residents within a specific jurisdiction. Federal law takes precedence over state law when conflicts arise, but state autonomy remains intact within their respective jurisdictions. By grasping the jurisdictional boundaries and hierarchy of law, individuals can navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure compliance with both federal and state regulations.


In the United States, there are laws that apply at the federal, state, and local levels. State laws in the countries are codes of legislation and statutes that are considered separate from those in kept in federal legislation, which apply to the nation as a whole. State laws are meant to not only establish certain legal applications, but essentially exist as the internal structure for the state’s government.
Therefore, all state laws are created and implemented by the states unto themselves. Laws that are created by the state will often times be based on federal laws as well, though certain changes may be applied to make a particular statute more strict.
An example can be in terms of the DUI laws that exist at the federal level. The federal laws regarding DUI BAC levels impose a national 0.08% limit. However, there are certain states that impose a lower limit and also a “zero tolerance” provision, further applying federal laws but making them more severe at the state level.

Gay Marriage Laws in Indiana

Gay Marriage Laws in Indiana

Navigating Equality: A Comprehensive Look at Gay Marriage Laws in Indiana

As attitudes towards LGBTQ+ rights continue to evolve, so too do the legal landscapes governing issues such as same-sex marriage. In the state of Indiana, the journey towards recognizing and securing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly with respect to gay marriage, has been marked by legal changes and societal shifts. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the gay marriage laws in Indiana, shedding light on the current status and historical context.

Historical Context:

Indiana’s journey towards embracing LGBTQ+ rights has seen both progress and challenges. Like many states, Indiana has witnessed shifts in public opinion, legal battles, and landmark decisions that have shaped the current legal framework surrounding gay marriage.

1. Early Legal Landscape:

– Historically, Indiana had laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. These laws reflected prevailing attitudes at the time but faced challenges as the national conversation on LGBTQ+ rights gained momentum.

2. Obergefell v. Hodges:

– A pivotal moment came in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. This ruling legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, effectively superseding any state-level bans or restrictions, including those in Indiana.

Current Status of Gay Marriage Laws in Indiana:

1. Legal Recognition:

– Following the Obergefell decision, same-sex marriage is legally recognized and protected in Indiana. Couples, regardless of gender, have the right to marry, and their marriages are entitled to the same legal benefits and protections as opposite-sex marriages.

2. Non-Discrimination Laws:

– Indiana does not have statewide non-discrimination protections explicitly covering sexual orientation and gender identity. However, certain cities, including Indianapolis, have implemented local ordinances to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in areas such as employment and housing.

3. Conversion Therapy Ban:

– As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Indiana had not implemented a statewide ban on conversion therapy, a controversial and widely discredited practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

4. Parental Rights:

– Same-sex couples in Indiana have the same parental rights as opposite-sex couples. Legal recognition of marriages extends to parenting, ensuring that both parents in a same-sex marriage have equal rights and responsibilities concerning their children.

Challenges and Future Considerations:

While Indiana has made significant strides in recognizing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, challenges remain. Advocates continue to push for comprehensive non-discrimination laws at the state level, and conversations around conversion therapy bans persist.


The legal landscape surrounding gay marriage in Indiana has transformed significantly in recent years, with the Obergefell decision playing a pivotal role in ensuring equal rights for same-sex couples. While challenges persist, the trajectory indicates a broader societal shift towards inclusivity and equality. As the conversation on LGBTQ+ rights continues, Indiana and its residents navigate the intersection of law, policy, and evolving social attitudes towards a more equitable future. It’s essential to stay informed about any legal updates or changes beyond my last knowledge update in January 2022.


Currently, Indiana prohibits legal recognition for same sex marriage or for any relationship between same sex couples. In fact, Indiana passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans same sex unions through the use of language, without explicitly forbidding it. While the state does have a statute that bans Indiana gay marriages, they do not yet have an amendment in place that bans same sex marriage. In fact, those supporting gay marriage rights argue that the amendment will violate their constitutional rights. By attempting to pass the amendment, the state opens itself to lawsuits that challenge equal rights for the state’s citizens.

There are many citizens that are supporting gay marriage rights and the benefits and responsibilities associated with the union. However, there are also many that still hold onto the definition of marriage that includes language describing a marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In fact, the state has tried to put an additional legal ban for gay marriage into place through a constitutional amendment.

However, the measure failed to pass and it cannot be voted on again until 2012. The state does have a statute that forbids same sex marriage but many argue that it is much easier to overturn a statue than it is to remove an amendment from the state’s Constitution. Many that are supporting gay marriage, have fought hard to prevent the passage of the amendment. In fact, those supporting gay marriage believe that they can have the statute overturned before the new amendment is in place.

In Indiana, gay rights ideals are involved in a conflict between supporters and those that oppose equal rights for all. Many citizens are supporting gay marriage rights and do not want an amendment in place that would forbid same sex marriage. In Indiana, gay marriage rights are really undecided by the state.

If the constitutional amendment passes, it will be much more difficult for the LGBT community to obtain equal rights up to, and including marriage. However, if the amendment fails to pass, the state may overturn the statute and open the legal possibility of gay marriage in Indiana. Gay rights may be moving in the right direct, aiming for equality for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation of gender identity. In Indiana, gay marriage is one right that will move equal rights in the right direction.


Gay Marriage Laws in Iowa

Gay Marriage Laws in Iowa

Iowa’s Progressive Stance: An In-Depth Look at Gay Marriage Laws

Iowa, often recognized for its progressive values, has been a trailblazer in the realm of LGBTQ+ rights, particularly in the area of gay marriage. With a history of legal milestones and a commitment to inclusivity, Iowa stands as an example of a state that has embraced the principles of equality for all. This article delves into the gay marriage laws in Iowa, exploring the state’s legal landscape, historical context, and the ongoing pursuit of equal rights.

Historical Milestones:

Iowa’s journey towards recognizing and affirming the rights of the LGBTQ+ community has been marked by significant legal and societal shifts.

1. Varnum v. Brien (2009):

– A landmark moment occurred in 2009 when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the case of Varnum v. Brien. This decision made Iowa the third state in the nation, at that time, to legalize same-sex marriage.

Current Status of Gay Marriage Laws in Iowa:

1. Legal Recognition:

– Same-sex marriage is fully legal and recognized in Iowa. The state’s legal framework affirms that marriage is a civil contract between two people, irrespective of gender.

2. Non-Discrimination Protections:

– Iowa boasts comprehensive non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity. These protections extend to areas such as employment, housing, and public accommodations, providing LGBTQ+ individuals with legal recourse against discrimination.

3. Conversion Therapy Ban:

– Iowa has taken steps to protect LGBTQ+ youth by banning conversion therapy. This controversial practice, aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is recognized as harmful, and its prohibition reflects Iowa’s commitment to the well-being of its LGBTQ+ community.

4. Parental Rights:

– Same-sex couples in Iowa enjoy the same parental rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples. Legal recognition of marriages extends seamlessly to parenting, ensuring equal rights for all parents, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

5. Transgender Rights:

– Iowa has made strides in recognizing and protecting the rights of transgender individuals. This includes legal provisions for name changes and gender marker updates on identification documents, reflecting an understanding of the diverse needs within the LGBTQ+ community.

Ongoing Advocacy:

While Iowa has made tremendous progress in securing LGBTQ+ rights, ongoing advocacy efforts focus on reinforcing and expanding existing protections. The state’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in its legal framework, but the work continues to ensure that Iowa remains at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.


Iowa’s progressive stance on gay marriage and LGBTQ+ rights serves as a testament to the state’s commitment to equality and inclusivity. The legal milestones, from the historic Varnum v. Brien decision to comprehensive non-discrimination protections, highlight Iowa’s dedication to fostering a diverse and welcoming environment. As the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights continues to evolve, Iowa stands as a model for other states, showcasing the positive impact of legal recognition and protection for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


In Iowa, gay marriage is legally recognized as of April, 2009. While there are many that favor the gay marriage pros rather than focusing on the cons, many other states
still fail to legally recognize gay marriage. Iowa is similar to other states because it had originally adopted DOMA. The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted to protect the sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

However, the state did vote down a constitutional amendment that would have
banned same sex marriages in the state. In fact, the constitutional Amendment
would have disallowed any legal recognition of same sex relationships. Gay marriage
pros include the legal recognition of relationships and the benefits associated
with marriage.

In Iowa, gay marriage was forbidden from being recognized due to the language in the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, many states choose this route because they only legally recognize marriages between opposite sex couples due to the nature of the language in DOMA. However, the constitutional amendment that sought to ban gay marriage was struck down because it violated the constitutional rights of members of the LGBT community.

Once marriage was decided to be a constitutional right, Iowa had to begin to legally recognize same sex marriage. One gay marriage pro is that it offers an equal opportunity for all citizens to marry and enjoy the benefits of a legally recognized
marriage. In Iowa, gay marriages allow every individual the right to benefits that one can only acquire through marriage.

In Iowa, gay marriage was legally recognized for a brief period in 2007.In fact, several marriage licenses were issued and two same sex weddings took place. However, a stay was issued and a hold was put on the legal recognition of same sex marriages. Many individuals were outraged and the event sparked a debate about gay marriage pros.

Later, there was a lawsuit that argued that the ruling violated constitutional rights and the state legally recognized same sex marriages. In fact, Iowa currently recognizes same sex marriages that were performed in another state.

In Iowa, it is understood that the state saves millions by allowing gay marriages. Pro gay marriage advocates believe that the revenue form same sex marriages will help to balance the states budget. In Iowa, gay marriages are currently recognized and citizens can enjoy all the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.


Gay Marriage Laws in Hawaii

Gay Marriage Laws in Hawaii

In 1993, the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay
marriage in Hawaii. However, the Supreme court was overruled by an amendment
that stated the Supreme court did not have that decision making authority. Gay
marriage in Hawaii was quickly made illegal by the legislature. However, Hawaii
does allow for some rights as they relate to domestic partnership. In 1997,
Hawaii began to offer reciprocal beneficiary registration. Gay marriage in
Hawaii is not legal, but same sex couples can be afforded the same rights as
married couples. In Hawaii, gay marriage is only illegal by definition. In
fact, same sex couples in Hawaii are afforded more rights that in most states.

In Hawaii, gay marriage is not legally recognized. However, couples can enter
into an agreement that affords them many rights in regards to their
relationship. Reciprocal beneficiary registration allows couples to be entitled
to some rights that are usually obtained through a legal marriage. For
instance, couples acquire inheritance rights and the right to acquire health
insurance through their partner. 

One benefit that many individuals feel is vital,
is the right to make decisions regarding health care. In fact, many LGBT
couples in the United States, are unable to make those decisions as they relate
to their partner. In fact, when a partner in hospitalized, the other partner is
often unable to get information regarding their partners condition because they
are not considered family.  

In addition to these rights, couples are
entitled to pensions and the right to own property jointly. Like marriage,
individuals can not enter into more than one reciprocal beneficiary
registration. While gay marriage in Hawaii is still illegal, couples can
benefit from the rights that the state affords individuals in a reciprocal
beneficiary registration.

In Hawaii, gay marriage is not technically legal. However, Hawaii affords
couples the opportunity to enter into a written agreement that will offer them
the opportunity to enjoy rights that are only usually afforded to married
couples. Gay marriage in Hawaii is simply not legally recognized because of the
definition of marriage. 

However, same sex couples are free to enjoy the many
benefits and responsibilities of marriage without having the designation of
marriage. There are few states that offer same sex couples the opportunity to
enjoy those rights. In Hawaii, gay marriage is likely to be legally recognized
sooner than in many other states. In fact, in Hawaii, gay marriage is allowed
contractually through reciprocal beneficiary registration.

Gay Marriage Laws in Idaho

Gay Marriage Laws in Idaho

In Idaho,
gay rights are severely lacking. In fact, those for gay marriage have encounter
a large opposition form the population. Like many states, Idaho has a Defense
of Marriage Act. The Act defines marriage as a union between opposite sex
partners. In addition, the state banned same sex marriage in 2006. In fact, the
Amendment passed with over 70 percent of votes. In Idaho, gay marriage was
banned, thereby forbidding many rights for same sex couples.  The
Amendment banned same sex marriage as well as any legal recognition for any
types of relationships between same sex individuals.

The Defense of marriage Act has been approved by many states. By defining
marriage as a union between a man and a woman, states effectively forbid gay
marriage. However, many states have also begun to pass laws that strictly
forbid gay marriage in addition to the Defense of Marriage Act. Those that are for
gay marriage, believe that these Acts are unconstitutional and prevent
individuals from having equal rights. By preventing access to equal rights,
states are discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation
or gender identity.

In Idaho, gay couples have no rights regarding their relationship. For example,
one partner may not make any decisions regarding the health care of the other
partner. In fact, they may not even have hospital visitation rights because
they are not related. In addition, same sex couples have no rights regarding
property or inheritance. Those that are for gay marriage, believe that laws
that forbid gay marriage, are unconstitutional because they prevent couples
from attaining rights that afforded to other couples.

In Idaho, gay marriage was banned by an overwhelming percentage of the
population. Those for gay marriage, encountered a large opposition. In fact,
individuals for gay marriage are not likely to see any change in the immediate
future. In Idaho, gay rights have been taken away because of the LGBT
communities  inability to have their relationship legally recognized in
any form.

Gay Marriage Laws in Illinois

Gay Marriage Laws in IllinoisIn Illinois,
gay rights are receiving some consideration by the courts. There are currently
no laws in Illinois that pertain to civil unions. In fact, civil unions are
neither legal or illegal. Several times, there were bills that were meant to
legalize civil unions but they were never put to a vote, so no one is sure how
the courts feel about gay marriage law in Illinois. 

In 2007, the Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act was introduced. However, it was never voted
on. If it had been approved, it would have legalized gay marriage. Laws up to
now, are not inclusive of gay marriage in Illinois. However, gay marriage law
does not forbid the legal recognition of same sex relationships either.

In Illinois, gay marriage has been included on several Bills. The Bill that was
meant to legalize civil unions, was reintroduced in 2009. However, it remained
stagnant. In fact, there was never a vote. Perhaps, Illinois is hesitant to
enact gay marriage laws because they fear public outrage. However, it appears
that the public generally supports legal recognition of same sex relationships.
Because of the courts consideration of civil unions in Illinois, gay rights are
slowly moving in the right direction.

Recently, a bill was introduced that would define marriage as a union between
two people, rather than a union between a man and a woman.The bill has no yet
moved. Although the Equal Marriage Act was introduced in 2009, it remains
unapproved. Illinois seems to be slow in passing gay marriage laws. However,
the courts are  likely to eventually allow gay marriage in Illinois.

Gay rights
are likely to advance and move toward equality. In Illinois, gay rights were
questioned when the defense of marriage Act passed in 1996. However, in Illinois,
gay rights seem to be held with higher importance than the actual legal
definition of marriage.

Gay Marriage Laws in Connecticut

Gay Marriage Laws in Connecticut

The nationwide gay marriage debate  was partially answered by a civil union law passed in 2005, in Connecticut. Gay marriage issues were highly publicized at that time and Connecticut became the second state in the nation to adopt and legally recognize civil unions and the legal rights granted to the couple. In fact, Connecticut would later allow LGBT couples the same rights and responsibilities of marriage by legally recognizing gay marriage. 
Connecticut was only the third state to legally recognize gay marriage. Debates continue as to the language used to describe unions and marriages. In fact, California, which had once recognized gay marriage, has since made it illegal and currently only allows for the legal recognition of domestic partnerships.  Regardless of the language used, LGBT couples in Connecticut are now entitled to the same benefits as married opposite sex couples.
After Connecticut legally accepted civil unions in 2005, the gay marriage debate continued in that state and nationwide. In 2006, a judge ruled that civil unions provided rights and protections similar to marriage and failed to legally recognize gay marriage in Connecticut. In essence, it was ruled that banning gay marriage, did not violate any individual rights as granted by the state of Connecticut. 
The court ruled that civil unions were the only legally necessary allowance for LGBT couples.  Civil unions were meant to be similar to marriage, without being exactly the same. Yet, the LGBT community disagreed and the debate continued in Connecticut. Gay couples wanted their unions to be officially recognized as marriages. LGBT couples wanted equal rights across the board, including the right to enter into a marriage. 
The debate continued and civil unions remained the only legally recognized partnerships for those in the LGBT community.  However, the courts later decided that gay marriage was legal in Connecticut. Gay marriage is currently only legal in only a few states.
The Connecticut State Supreme Court ruled that LGBT couples were entitled to equal protection and rights by the states constitution. In fact, Kerrigan V. Commissioner of Public Health was decided in 2008, and made gay marriage legal in Connecticut. Gay marriage is currently legal in Connecticut and couples enjoy all of the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage.
In fact, all civil unions in Connecticut will be recognized as marriages as of late 2010. The gay marriage debate has been answered, at least in Connecticut. Gay marriage debates continue in many states. However, every time a positive action is taken toward equal rights, opposition shrinks and the possibility of equality becomes closer at hand.