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Gay Marriage Laws in Texas

Gay Marriage Laws in Texas

In Texas,
marriage is defined as a union between an opposite sex couple. In addition, no
form of a same sex relationships are recognized in Texas. Gay marriages are
strictly forbidden for two reasons. First, the state enacted the Defense of
Marriage act, which defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman. 

In
addition, the state passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage
in 2005. However, there have been some legal challenges to the amendment and to
the wording of the amendment. In the meantime, Texas marriage consists of a
union between a man and a woman and all other unions are legally prohibited.



The first challenge towards the definition of marriage in Texas is that it
violates individual civil rights. By prohibiting individuals from getting
married, they prohibit them form obtaining the rights of marriage. In essence,
LGBT individuals lose their right to marry and they lose any rights and
responsibilities associated with marriage in Texas. 

Gay couples currently have
no legal recourse in order to obtain the rights offered to other
individuals.  In addition, the wording of the amendment is claimed to have
made marriage illegal in Texas. Marriage is clearly defined and followed by
forbidden acts such as issuing a marriage license to a same sex couple. 

The
amendment also includes wording that forbids state and local governments from
recognizing any union that resembles marriage. In essence, marriage resembles
marriage and some people claim that the law prohibits all couples from getting
married. Legal challenges are currently in progress in Texas. Gay marriage
advocates are excited that the state may very well have outlawed marriage and
in fact, provided equal rights for everyone by doing so.


In Texas, gay marriage is currently illegal. In fact, some claim that marriage
is illegal all together in Texas. Marriage has been clearly define by laws in Texas.
Gay marriage was banned by the recent enactment of laws that strictly define
marriage as a union between opposite sex couples. However, the language
contained within the laws is currently being challenged on several fronts. In Texas,
marriage may not currently be legal for any couple. Legal challenges may force
Texas to repeal the law and begin the process all over again. Many are hoping
that they will reconsider their current ban on gay marriage.


Gay Marriage Laws in Utah

Gay Marriage Laws in Utah

In Utah,
marriage is strictly defined as a union between one man and one woman. In fact,
the state does not recognize any legal rights regarding any same sex
relationships. In addition to the Defense of Marriage Act, Utah passed
constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. In many states, the
constitutionality of banning gay marriage is being challenged in the courts. 

Many claim that such a ban is a violation of an individual’s constitutional
rights. In Utah, gay marriage is explicitly forbidden by the law’s of the
state. By banning gay marriage, the state violates individual rights on several
fronts. First, the state is preventing  couples access to their right to
marry. In addition, the couples are not entitled to the rights and
responsibilities acquired through marriage. In Utah, gay couples cannot receive
any rights or responsibilities that relate to their relationship.

In Utah, marriage is currently viewed as a unique relationship between a man
and a woman.  However, in 2005, a bill was introduced that would have
allowed same sex couples to enter into a reciprocal benefits agreement in Utah.
Gay couples would have been able to enter into an agreement that would have
offered them some of the legal benefits of marriage. However, the bill was
defeated by the Senate. 


In Utah, marriage is currently only allowed for a
couple that consists of one man and one woman. In addition, same sex couples
have no access to any legal  recognition of their relationship. Because of
the lack of legal recognition, couples have no protection granted for the
rights that should be afforded to any couple in Utah. Gay rights advocates
state that the rights of marriage include things such as inheritance, shared
property, and the right to make health car decisions for partners. In Utah, gay
couples are unable to enjoy any of those rights.


In Utah, gay marriage is prohibited. In addition, there is no legal recognition
afforded to same sex relationships in any form. Same sex couples have no legal
recourse if a partner should die, or if the couple should separate. It can be
very difficult for a partner to prove ownership of property or assets, if there
is no written documentation. 


In addition, no written documentation pertaining
to their relationship will be legally  allowed and therefore, an
individual will have no proof of ownership. In Utah, marriage is the only
legally enforceable relationship contract.  In fact, in Utah, Marriage is
considered a sacrament of the church and the church does not condone same sex
relationships. The separation of church and state, is seriously lacking in the
marriage law’s of Utah.

Gay Marriage Laws in Vermont

Gay Marriage Laws in VermontIn Vermont,
gay marriage is currently legal. In fact, Vermont was the first state to
legally recognize civil unions and they did so without a court ruling in 2000.
In Vermont, gay marriages and civil unions are both afforded the same rights as
marriage. In 1999, the state Supreme Court ruled that the right to marry, was an
entitlement offered to all individuals, regardless of gender. 


The courts ruled
that prohibiting a legal recognition of same sex relationships, was a violation
of the states constitution which ensures equal rights. In Vermont, marriage is
a union of two people and marriage is not defined by gender. However, civil
unions performed in Vermont, may not be recognized outside of the state unless,
the other state has similar laws regarding civil unions. In addition, same sex Vermont
marriages may only be recognized in other states that have legalized gay
marriage.

In Vermont, gay marriages and civil unions are offered all of the same rights
generally reserved for marriage. In fact, Vermont allows its residents to
dissolve civil unions in the same way that a divorce legally ends a marriage.
For instance, couples are legally able to distribute assets and property after
a relationship ends. In addition, individuals can collect alimony or separation
payments.  However, couples must be residents of Vermont in order to have
their divorce legally recognized by the state. For instance, a couple cannot
marry in Vermont, move to Kansas for ten years and then get divorced in Vermont. 


Marriages must legally end in a state that has jurisdiction over the union. In
other words, a couple that has moved to another state, may have no legal
recourse regarding their divorce, unless their state of residency, recognizes
the marriage.  In addition, the law also states that no individual should
marry in Vermont and purposely move to state where gay marriage is illegal. If
in fact, a couple tries to knowingly take advantage of Vermont’s marriage laws,
the marriage is considered void.

In Vermont, gay marriage laws were prohibitive and it took great efforts to
change them. In fact, the governor vetoed the original bill that would have
legalize gay marriage. However, the veto was overturned by the legislature. It
did however, take two years from the bills introduction, for gay marriages to
be legally permitted in Vermont.  Gay marriages are legally recognized as
of, September 2009. In Vermont, marriage is a union of two people, regardless
of gender.

Gay Marriage Laws in Virginia

Gay Marriage Laws in VirginiaIn Virginia,
marriage is strictly defined as a union between one man and one woman.There is
no legal recognition of gay marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships in
Virginia. Marriage attorneys are set to challenge the constitutionality of the
the state’s legal definition of marriage in Virginia. 



Marriage was defined in
the  Marshall-Newman Amendment which was ratified and added to the state’s
constitution in 2006. The amendment explicitly defines marriage as a union of
an opposite sex couple. In Virginia, marriage attorneys are set to challenge
the validity of the law and its implications on equal rights for the LGBT
community.

The Marshall-Newman Amendment explicitly denies legal recognition for same sex
relationships in Virginia. Marriages and any agreements that result form a
marriage, must be between opposite sex couples to ensure legality. In fact, the
amendment is under fire for containing language that bans any legal contracts
between same sex couples. 



Many claim that the amendment removes many rights
from same sex couples that they are otherwise afforded in many other states. In
addition to prohibiting same sex marriages, the state also prevents legal
recognition for any documentation that results form a same sex relationship.
Perhaps, as many claim, the amendment prevents couples from entering into any
legal contracts whatever. 


These contracts could include wills, medical and
legal powers of attorney, and ownership of joint property or assets. However,
the law is not yet clear and is set to be challenged by several Virginia
marriage attorneys. If in fact agreements between same sex couples are held to
be invalid, The United States Supreme Court will certainly be asked to
intervene.

Because of unclear laws, Virginia marriage attorneys may be hesitant to help
same sex couples enter into any legal contracts at all. In fact, those
contracts may be invalidated by the courts, based on the Marshall-Newman
Amendment and attorneys may not wish to be involved in contracting agreements
that will not be upheld by the courts.


In Virginia, marriages between same sex
partners are prevented from being legally recognized, and any documentation
that results form that relationship has the potential of being invalidated by
the courts. Virginia marriage attorneys may advise same sex couples that their
relationship is afforded no legal rights at all in Virginia. Marriages
performed legally in other states, will also not be recognized in Virginia,
unless they adhere to Virginia’s laws. Currently, there is noting that
resembles equal rights for the LGBT community in Virginia. However, legal
challenges are likely to change that.

Gay Marriage Laws in Washington

Gay Marriage Laws in WashingtonCurrently,
Washington state offers no legal recognition for gay marriage. The state
enacted the Defense of Marriage  in 1998 and the act was upheld by the
courts. In fact, the State’s Supreme Court decided that the state did indeed,
have the power to limit marriage to opposite sex couples. Yet, the language of
the law only forbid same sex marriage, not recognition of other same sex
relationships in Washington. 



Marriage was seen as unique by its definition,
However, Washington state marriage laws do allow for the recognition of
domestic partnership as long as it is defined as such. With this legal recognition,comes
the right, benefits and responsibilities generally reserved for marriage in Washington
state. Marriage’s only benefit over domestic partnership, is the right to call
the union a marriage.

In Washington state, marriage is sill defined as a union between one man and
one woman. However, domestic partnerships entitles same sex couples to many
rights that they do not have in many states. For instance, same sex couples are
able to inherit property from each other, even in the absence of a will. In addition,
they can own property and assets jointly. Domestic abuse laws also apply to
domestic partners, when they do not apply in many other states. One aspect of
marriage that many people fail to think about, is the right to not testify
against a spouse. 



In Washington state, marriage and domestic partnership
entitled partners to the right to avoid testifying against their partners in a
court of law. In addition, domestic partners are entitled to a legal
dissolution of their relationship. 


While there are a few restrictions, couples
are entitled to the same rights as divorce. For example, one partner may be
entitled to alimony payments or child support. In addition, the property and
assets will be distributed according to the rules of the court, as they would
apply to divorce in Washington. Marriage receives no special considerations
over domestic partnerships.

In Washington, marriage is defined as a union between an opposite sex couple.
However, domestic partnership entitles couples to the same rights as a married
couple in Washington State. Marriage and domestic partnerships are seen as
equal by the courts when they begin and in the even that they end.


Couples in
both relationships, are entitled to a legal recognition for their relationship,
in addition to a legal recognition should the relationship end in Washington.
Marriage is seen as a separate relationship from domestic partnerships, but
both relationships enjoy the same rights and responsibilities.

Gay Marriage Laws in New York

Gay Marriage Laws in New York

One
of the most liberal states and cities in the country, New york, New York, does
not take part in New York gay marriage. New York Marriages may only take place
between one man and one woman. There is a large number of gay people living in
New York state that would fight everyday for the right to be recognized in a New
York marriage. 


As for now, New Yorkers will have to travel to nearby
Massachusetts if they would like to get married and be a New york gay couple
that has been married in another state. In 2008, New York governor David
Patterson issued a directive requiring that the state recognize all same-sex
that took place in other states. New York state does recognize and give state
benefits to New York gay couples who got married elsewhere. 


Being a state that
gives New York gay couples who have been married somewhere else the same rights
as other New York marriages as far as state rights go, makes New York an
attractive place for gay couples to reside.

The New York Assembly has had no problems passing bills to be passed up
to the Senate regarding gays and their right to have a New York marriage, but
the Senate repeatedly rejects them, most recently in December of 2009. The
state has shown that it is ready to move on and allow same-sex marriage as many
straight people feel it is none of their business or they simply have no
problem with two people of the same sex joining together in marriage. 


The
people in charge however have shown to be stuck in their own ways even though
there is no harm that a same-sex marriage taking place could possibly harm them
in their daily lives. Supporters of New York gay marriage are ready to move
have been ready for change for many years and believe it is about time everyone
is treated as equals.

    As a sign of rebellion, New Paltz mayor Jason West married
25 same-sex couples. The gay New York marriages which were performed all at
once were quickly shot down just like the Senator in New Mexico who married
gays couples. Not only were the marriages ruled invalid but Mayor West was
charged with 19 misdemeanors. Those charges were dropped and then reinstated
only to be fought against in court and dropped again for good. 


It will always
be one of the most outspoken places, especially when it comes to fighting for
gay’s rights to marry. In time it is likely that New York will be one of the
states that offers same-sex marriages or at least their own civil unions.


Gay Marriage Laws in North Carolina

Gay Marriage Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina’s gay marriage laws do not allow for same-sex marriage. North Carolina gay marriage law does not even recognize gay marriage. North Carolina gay marriage law does not recognize any type of same-sex union no matter what state it was legally performed in. 

The people of North Carolina have not been fighting hard enough to pass gay marriage laws, nor getting involved enough in the community to show they are serious about changing the gay marriage laws. DOMA is the legal term for the legislation that bans gay marriage in the state of North Carolina.

There are certain jurisdictions in North Carolina that allow for domestic partnerships such as Chapel Hill and Carrboro. These jurisdictions choose to allows domestic partnerships without any preference as to what the sex of the people joining together are. According to North Carolina gay marriage laws, those domestic partnerships are recognized in those two cities alone. 

North Carolina as a whole, will not recognize the partnership if it is a same-sex couple who got their license in one of those two cities. They would like to be looked at as a normal couple that enjoys the benefits of legally being together.

Gay marriage law in North Carolina shows that the state is unsympathetic to gay rights. They will not even recognize any type of same-sex union even if it was attained legally, in some cases in one of the state’s own cities!   Without any gay marriage law legislation in the works it is difficult to see the state changing it’s stance on the topic any time in the near future. 

Some states may not have the outcry from the volume of people necessary to make change on the subject. The current gay marriage law in North Carolina could very well be what the majority of the people living there want. While gay couples in North Carolina will have to either deal with the problem or leave, there most likely won’t be many gay couples thinking of North Carolina as an option for a future home.    

Gay Marriage Laws in North Dakota

Gay Marriage Laws in North Dakota

North Dakota gay marriage is banned. DOMA is the name of the law that prevents North Dakota gay couples from marrying or creating any type of civil union. Clearly North Dakota’s gay population is not treated well, especially compared to more liberal states in the country. 

In addition to DOMA, in 2004 a state constitutional amendment was passed that banned all gay marriages and unions in North Dakota. There is not much hope at all for North Dakota gay couples to live in the state as a union or marriage in the future, as the state will not recognize anything of the sort. North Dakota marriage laws give off an unwelcome feeling towards gays and even people who support gays.

In addition to North Carolina gay marriage laws, the state also discriminates against hopeful gay couples looking to become parents. The state and it’s adoption agencies are another group of people who use religion as an excuse for not allowing gay couples to raise a child. They are legally allowed to discriminate against gay couples. The North Dakota gay community is not a large or vocal one.

North Dakota marriage laws will not support same-sex couples and most likely the poor couples who would love nothing more than to change the North Carolina Marriage laws and show everyone that they are not out to hurt anyone’s way of life. North Dakota marriages will remain strictly between people of opposite sexes as there is no legislation allowing for change. 

With the support of the federal government North Dakota marriage laws are under no pressure to change. While some look at North Dakota as old fashioned it is the United States’ own federal government that can not even realize that there are more than enough people that support change and people’s right to love and marry who they want.  

Gay Marriage Laws in Ohio

Gay Marriage Laws in Ohio

 

Ohio gay couples will not be getting married anytime soon thanks to the current DOMA legislation banning gay marriage. The amendment was placed on the state ballot by a citizen initiative group and then approved by voters. The DOMA amendment stand for, defense of marriage act. The Ohio gay community may be fighting back against some of the Ohio marriage laws. 

The law takes away previous benefits shared by domestic partners that they were receiving from the companies they work for. Some Ohio lawyers have been quoted as saying that the loss of benefits between Ohio gay couples could lead to a large number of lawsuits on the way. 

There is a chance that the state also does not allow Ohio companies to do business with companies that do allow benefits between gay couples. This seems like a blatant attack on the Ohio gay community. George Dent, a law professor in Ohio does not believe anything can be done about the companies that choose not to keep giving same sex couples their benefits, he said, "If an employer wants to include same-sex benefits under its health plan, there's nothing here that stops it."

Ohio marriage law will remain under the DOMA protection for now and into the future. A majority that does not support gay marriage or even someone who lives their life as a gay person in private, will make it difficult for Ohio to ever break through and allow Ohio gay marriage. 

The people against gays in Ohio believe that Ohio marriages are sacred. Ohio gays who marry elsewhere will not be legally recognized. No state benefits will be given and of course there are no federal benefits since they federal government does not support gay marriage yet.

Ohio gay couples will have to take after others by leaving for other states, possibly for good, in order to live the lives they want to live. It should not be necessary to search the country trying to find a state that will accept your life style, when you are not doing anything illegal. Ohio citizens could learn they have more in common with Ohio gays then they realize. Perhaps just as old discriminatory actions have slowly died in this country, those who discriminate against gay marriage will always eventually be weeded out.

Gay Marriage Laws in Oklahoma

Gay Marriage Laws in Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma gay marriage has been banned from the state. The citizens of Oklahoma believe they are protecting the integrity of Oklahoma marriage. The people there appear to be against gay marriage and gay civil-unions that they are trying to make the DOMA law a federal law. Some Oklahoma gays have fought against the Oklahoma law on marraige in court. They explain how they have been together for years and were even married in Canada. 

They just want to be treated like every other couple but there are too many people who do not think their relationship is worthy of an Oklahoma marriage. The couple does not want to leave Oklahoma because it has been their home for the last 12 years and they love almost everything about it, except one thing, they are not accepted as a couple. They need and rely on the state benefits just like straight couples, but do not get a chance to receive them because too many voters are out to get them for no reason aside from the fact that they do not support Oklahoma gays.

From an outsiders perspective, views on Oklahoma marriage regarding Oklahoma gays could be viewed as hate for all gay people. Even the federal government is in the cross hairs of anti-gay marriage advocates. A nation wide ban on gay marriage would devastate millions of Americans and it would be done for no good reason except discrimination.

Oklahoma marriage is not the only thing under fire. There is no chance for Oklahoma gay couples to adopt a child who needs a loving family because of the anti-gay parenting act. The anti-gay parenting act is another attack at those gays who are trying to build a family but there are too many people creating road blocks. If the whole country followed the ways of Oklahoma regarding gay Oklahoma marriage then the world would be moving back in time. 

If Oklahoma somehow got the federal government to pass the act banning gay unions and gay adoptions everywhere it would be like segregation and old Jim Crow laws coming back into everyday life. Gays and their supporters will have to do their best to make sure Oklahoma changed it's ways and and starts to become progressive.