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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.

Gay Marriage Laws in Minnesota

Gay Marriage Laws in Minnesota

Although almost half of Michigan’s
residents support the idea of allowing full marital rights and benefits for Michigan
gay, lesbian, and transgender couples, Michigan marriage unions between
same-sex relationships are still heavily banned within the state of Michigan.
Gay partnerships were dealt a very disappointing verdict in 2004, when nearly
60% of voters approved the Michigan State Proposal- 04-02, which legally
prohibits same-sex Michigan marriages and civil unions, as well as domestic
partnership benefits. 


Although the Michigan gay community and Michigan gay
marriage supporters are persistently lobbying for this ban to be lifted, or, at
least, for limited homosexual
partnership rights, the conservative politics of the state are awfully strong
in their belief that Michigan marriage unions are intended for heterosexual
couples only. It was only in 2003, after all, that the U.S. Supreme Court
struck down Michigan’s sodomy laws, which criminalized same-sex sexual acts in
general.


Progress towards equal rights is slow, but surely, on the
horizon. On June 13, 2009, during a gay and lesbian rights rally, Democrat Pam
Byrnes, Michigan’s House Speaker, said that she had brought forth certain
measures that would help in the eventual change of the current Michigan
marriage laws. “I think we definitely see a change in attitude and it’s
time to revisit this,” she said.

The “measures” Byrne was referring to was the following set of bills:

        
 A
repeal of of the Constitutional amendment, which will require a two-thirds vote
of both chambers of the legislature

        
 A
bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Michigan

        
A
bill to remove state law restrictions which prevent Michigan from recognizing
same-sex marriages performed in another state


Although the proposal does indeed show that there is some effort being made to
change the current Michigan marriage laws, a two-thirds majority in the
Republican-controlled Senate proves to be a very serious setback in bringing
these measures to voters.

Gay Marriage Laws in Mississippi

Gay Marriage Laws in Mississippi

 

On March 11, 2010, a school board in the town of Fulton, Mississippi, announced that its upcoming high school prom would have to be canceled. The cause for concern? The notice came shortly after a gay student challenged a school policy and requested to bring her girlfriend to the event, naturally, as her date. She also wanted to wear a tuxedo, which was also against school policy. This seemingly minor decision, however, should give onlookers a general idea of where the state majority stands on Mississippi gay rights, and more specifically, on the same-sex Mississippi marriage debate.

In Mississippi, marriage for same-sex partnerships was officially banned in a constitutional amendment on November 2, 2004. Mississippi was joined by ten other predominantly conservative Midwestern states that day, and any hopes that the Mississippi gay community had for same-sex partnership rights, quickly came to a standstill when the bill was passed, as predicted, by a shocking 86% majority vote.

The decision came just a few months after the state of Massachusetts made history by being the first in the nation to allow gay, lesbian, and transgender couples to legally marry and receive marital rights. Although Mississippi already had an anti-gay marriage statute enacted almost a decade beforehand in 1997, conservatives wanted the institution of Mississippi marriage to be defined as a strictly heterosexual institution yet again, and they wanted it clearly stated, this time around, in their constitution. Although the amendment does not necessarily ban civil unions, or any other legal protections for that matter, a Mississippi marriage for same-sex couples is temporarily out of the question.

Despite the hardships that the Mississippi gay community is forced to face for the present time, there is at least some rights given to the homosexual residents of the state by allowing Mississippi gay singles to adopt a child within its borders. Adoption by Mississippi gay couples, however, is still not permitted. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Mississippi lawyers.

Gay Marriage Laws in Missouri

Gay Marriage Laws in Missouri

 

On December 25, 2009, in Missouri, gay highway state trooper Dennis Engelhard was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle when he stepped out of his patrol car to set up flares for the scene of another accident. The 10-year veteran left behind a life partner of fifteen years, as well as a son. Due to anti-gay Missouri marriage laws, however, which refuse to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships, no benefits will be provided to his partner. If Engelhard had been married, though, or, if his relationship had been legally recognized in the state of Missouri, his partner would have been entitled to benefits from the state pension system, totalling more than $28,000 a year. Benefits, which would have undoubtedly helped the widowed man in raising the son of Engelhard.

Although Missouri may be known as the "Show Me" state, as one can see from such examples, it certainly shows no support whatsoever of equal rights for it's homosexual residents. The Missouri gay community faces an uphill battle in trying to change the discriminatory Missouri law on marriage, especially after a constitutional amendment was enacted on November 2, 2004, which officially bans the marriage of same-sex partnerships.

The state's vote regarding the Missouri marriage laws and Missouri gay rights was the first chance that voters anywhere in the country, had to voice their opinions on the matter since the state of Massachusetts made history months earlier by being the first in the nation to allow gay, lesbian, and transgender couples to legally marry and receive marital rights. Although a majority vote in favor of the Missouri gay marriage ban was indeed expected, the turnout was roughly 400,000 more than anyone expected, especially for a primary election. Roughly 1.5 million residents of Missouri, gay and straight, stepped up to cast their vote on various issues, but the most controversial being the anti-gay Missouri marriage laws.

Since the 2004 passing of the constitutional amendment, Missouri Marriage Laws currently state the following:

It is public policy of the state of Missouri to only acknowledge marriage between between a man and a woman.

Any marriage not between a man and a woman is invalid.

No recorder can issue a marriage license, except to a man and a woman.

A marriage between two people of the same sex will not be acknowledged, for any purpose, in this state of Missouri, even if it is valid where contracted. 

Gay Marriage Laws in Montana

Gay Marriage Laws in Montana

 

In Montana, marriage for same-sex partnerships was officially banned in a constitutional amendment on November 2, 2004. Montana was joined by ten other predominantly conservative Midwestern states that day, and any hopes that the Montana gay community had for same-sex Montana marriage rights quickly came to a standstill when the bill was passed, as predicted, by a 67% majority vote.

Known as Initiative 96, the change to the Montana Constitution includes the addition of a formal definition of a legal Montana marriage, one which states that "only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." This can be found in Article XIII, Section 7 of the state's constitution.

The decision for the ban came just a few months after the state of Massachusetts made history by being the first in the nation to allow gay, lesbian, and transgender couples to legally marry and receive marital rights. Although Montana already had a strong anti-gay marriage outlook and never recognized same-sex marriages or civil unions to begin with, conservatives wanted Montana marriage to be defined as a strictly heterosexual institution in their constitution. The amendment, however, does not necessarily ban civil unions, or, any other legal protections, for that matter.

 And so, in 2009, a domestic partnership bill was proposed that aimed to take certain measures to protect against discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. If passed, the bill would have included basic rights such as hospital visitation and joint property ownership. However, all bills were shot down when they were brought to the state legislature. And so, for now, Montana marriage for same-sex couples is seems to be out of the question, rights for those in same-sex partnerships remain extremely limited.

Despite the hardships that the Montana gay community is forced to face at the present time, there are at least some rights given to the homosexual residents of the state by allowing Montana gay singles to adopt a child within its borders. Adoption by Montana gay couples, however, is still not permitted. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Montana lawyers.

Gay Marriage Laws in Maine

Gay Marriage Laws in MaineIn Maine,
gay marriage is not currently legal. Although a bill was passed in April 2009,
that would have legalized gay marriage, the bill was overturned. However,
domestic partnership is legal in Maine. While Maine has enacted the Defense of
Marriage Act, a state constitutional amendment that would have banned gay
marriage failed to pass. However, registering as domestic partners, remains
legal.



In Maine, marriage is defined as a union between an opposite sex couple.
However, gay marriage was briefly legalized in Maine. A bill was signed into
law in 2009 that would have approved the right to gay marriage in Maine.Marriages
were never performed however, because a referendum on the bill was lost. After
the Senate and House of Representatives approved the bill, the governor signed
it into law. 


In fact, Maine was the first state to sign such a bill into law
with out a court decision that forced them to do so. However, the citizens of
the state collected signatures to force a referendum in Maine. Gay marriages
were not to be legally allowed in Maine because the bill was overturned during
a vote by the public.

However, Maine’s Domestic partnership laws still allow for some legal
recognition of same sex relationships. In Maine, marriages afford couples many
more rights than domestic partnerships do. However, domestic partnerships at
least allow for some rights normally reserved for marriages. In Maine, gay
couples that register as domestic partners, are considered to be the closest
next of kin for their partner. 


In addition, partners can be inherit property in
the absence of a will and may make all funeral arrangements. In Maine, gay couples
can also be named as health care representatives, thereby being legally able to
make medical decisions, including issues relating to organ transplants. In
addition, In Maine, marriages and domestic partnerships entitled individuals to
protection under the domestic violence laws of the state.

In Maine, gay marriage is still illegal. However, couples can register as
domestic partners after living together in Maine for one full year. In Maine,
marriage creates an inability for an individual to register as a domestic
partner. In addition, couples cannot legally be a part of more than one
domestic partnership. Domestic partnerships can be made void by either parties
consent, as long as the other person is properly notified.

In addition,
domestic partnerships are automatically void if either party gets married. In
essence, domestic partnerships in Maine can provide rights and responsibilities
to same sex couples, that are not afforded by other states. Maine is obviously
aiming to create a state with equal rights for all citizens.