"Existing Laws and Pending Lawsuits on Same-Sex Relationships" Lambda
Legal Defense and Education Fund (2005)
provides a map showing current laws by state regarding same-sex
"For same-sex couples living in Massachusetts, California,
Connecticut, and Vermont, same-sex marriage -- or a reasonable
facsimile of marriage -- is now a reality. If you live in any of these
four states, you and your partner have a decision to make that
same-sex couples have never had to make before: whether marriage is
right for you.
A few other states -- Hawaii, Maine, and New Jersey -- have domestic
partnership laws, but they offer limited rights that don't really
"Pros and Cons of Same-Sex Marriage: Is It for You?" Nolo (2006)
"Same-Sex Marriage: Developments in the Law" Nolo (2006)
provides greater details regarding the laws in states offering
marriage and marriage-like relationships.
"Overview of Same Sex Marriage in the U.S.: The Struggle for Civil
Rights and Equality" by Rita A. Webb, National Association of Social
Workers http://www.socialworkers.org/diversity/lgb/062005.asp and
"Family Law - GAY COUPLES" eNotes.com (2006)
http://law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/89968 provide an
historical overview and some details about legislation.
Based on my research regarding current legislation, the states
offering the strongest legal rights to same-sex couples are
Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut. California, Hawaii, Maine,
and New Jersey may also address your concerns adequately. Given that
each state has requirements for obtaining the rights you are seeking,
such as registration, I encourage you to consult a family law attorney
in the state you are interested in who is knowledgeable about the
rights of same-sex couples. The Nolo.com reference: "Same-Sex
Marriage: Developments in the Law" includes links to information
maintained by the various states.
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