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Same-sex marriage laws by state

The Supreme Court on Wednesday undercut California’s Proposition 8, which had banned gay marriage in the state, and struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In 1995, Utah passed the first Defense of Marriage Act. Other states had previously legally defined marriage as between a man and woman, but were not DOMA laws. The following year, Congress passed a federal Defense of Marriage Act, leading states to follow suit.

During the 2004 and 2006 elections, same-sex marriage became a wedge issue—ballot measures were used to encourage voter turnout with voters in 13 states approving amendments in 2004 and voters in another 8 states doing the same in 2006.

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State laws regarding same-sex marriage

State constitution prohibits
State law prohibits
No state laws
State provides limited rights to same-sex couples
State allows for civil unions or domestic partnerships
State allows for same-sex marriage
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Sources: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the National Conference of State Legislatures
Graphic: Danny Dougherty