Today brings great news regarding the slow but steady march toward equal rights for all LGBT citizens. In expected but still wonderful news, Hawaii has become the seventh state to authorize civil unions (three states that previously enacted civil union laws now allow gay marriages). There are now 13 states and one district that allow same-sex marriages or offer partnerships with comparable rights and responsibilities to opposite-sex marriages.
In more surprising news, the White House has declared the “Defense of Marriage Act” unconstitutional and the Department of Justice will no longer defend Section 3 of the law. This progress comes on top of the recent expansion of hospital visitation rights to same sex couples and repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and it bodes well for the various legal battles that will eventually bring the issue to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The following states (and district) have taken the appropriate steps forward to put this insane era of discrimination behind us:
Gay Marriages (5 + 1 district):
- New Hampshire
- Washington, D.C.
Civil Unions (4):
- New Jersey
Domestic Partnerships with similar rights to marriage (4):
Domestic Partnerships with some of the rights of marriage (4):
Recognize Gay Marriages (3):
- New York
- Rhode Island