In One Map, Here’s What the Supreme Court Just Did

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This map provides a good visual explanation of what the Supreme Court decided this morning in the DOMA and Prop 8 same-sex marriage cases.

Map courtesy of Human Rights Campaign and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

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  • Anonymous

    What about states that don’t yet have same-sex marriage??? Will this allow same-sex couple to marry now or do they have to wait for the states to pass (and we know most won’t) equality of marriage acts>???

  • Needler

    BUT, here’s a question. If I live in a state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, but drive over to a state that DOES and then get married there, will the feds recognize that marriage?

  • Anonymous

    I wish we could do something about all the grey states. When will a gay couple legally married sue to be recognized in the grey states too? My husband and I got married in Las Vegas. Our marriage is recognized everywhere including Michigan which is a grey state above. Shouldn’t gay couples legally married in a state be legally married in all states?

  • Anonymous

    My question exactly.

  • Diane Shaw

    So, where can we go get married! We’ve been together 12+ years!!

  • Anonymous

    Where do you live?

  • MoppetMax

    The answer to your question will be determined through further litigation. Now people will take this to court on a local, state level and with the SC ruling will try to flesh out the answer. But a huge hurdle was made today. Momentous!

  • Anonymous

    That’s section 2 of DOMA. The Court didn’t touch it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged in the future (and you can bet it will be).

  • Anonymous

    Unclear. The ruling says the feds must recognize gay marriages in the states they are performed. The issue of portability is not touched, which means it will probably take another case to decide it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree Downriver Dem. I wish they could have made a ruling that marriages are recognised nation wide instead of just knocking it down, but this is something the state courts are going to have to deal with & hears hoping they will agree with the ones in California that made that ruling & were ignored by the political pool in the government there. Tiny steps are better that no steps at all, because like children, it starts out as tiny & continues to grow bigger as time goes on.

  • DarqueSideOfTheMoon

    Come to California!

  • Paul Spence

    that’s the intended effect of the full faith and credit clause of the US constitution. the sister states have to recognize as valid the actions taken in each other. a marriage made in california has to be recognized in michigan. that’s why this issue of same sex marriage was an important one of constitutional significance. DOMA was an attempt to use the supremacy clause of the constitution (which makes federal law more powerful than state law) to do an end run around the full faith and credit clause (which says that states have to accept the official acts of each other as valid. it’s what makes you driver’s license valid in another state, for instance. as well as your marriage) under the full faith and credit clause, a state that prohibits same sex marriage had a constitutional obligation to recognize the same sex marriage of another state, while it was powerless to create the same marriage itself. it’s rare to see a case that affects the basic inter-workings of state to state and state to federal issues like this.

    i don’t support same sex marriage (because i don’t support marriage in general), but DOMA was definitely a bad law. It was an attempt to put a finger in the dike of a social problem that was going to burst no matter what. (yes, i’m aware of the imagery and the pun. i didn’t actually intend either, but now they’re here, and i will own them.)

  • Todd

    Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, known familiarly as the “Full Faith and Credit Clause”, addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” In other words, it’s a lot like driver license laws. If, for example, I live in South Dakota (where I can obtain my license at the age of 15), and my family travels to New Jersey for a vacation. While there, I do a little of the driving. During one particular trip to the beach, I am stopped by the NJ State Police, because I appear “very young.” When they check my license, they note my DOB, and arrest me for “under-age driving.” WAIT-A-MINUTE…can they do that?! Absolutely NOT. Why? Because of Art. IV; Sect. I of the US Constitution. In this scenario, NJ must “respect” SD’s licensing law.

  • Dan Howard

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand from the DOMA ruling that federal marriage benefits will only be extended to the gay couples who marry in states recognizing same sex marriage as long as those couples reside in the ‘enlightened’ states. If that same couple who is legally married in NY or some other state with gay marriage moves to a non-gay marriage state – they will forfeit their federal marriage benefits.

  • Anonymous

    No it won’t be, because each marriage is on the state level, & the federal government does not get into marriages from state to state.

  • RCinNYC

    The case was over a couple married in Canada. Shouldn’t that then set a precedent that a marriage anywhere where it is legal should allow any couple married anywhere are legally married, and therefore the Federal government must recognize it?

  • Anonymous

    That’s my understanding as well. However, it will be very difficult to make the case that marriage in California is somehow legal but not legal in Texas. I think that’s why they went with the “no standing” for Prop. 8 (chickens).

  • Anonymous

    They will have to wait until it is legal in their state. This is still a work in progress, but I think in the not too distant future the grey states will change color, or at least I hope so.

  • Anonymous

    Be patient. Politically speaking, these decisions are gold for Democrats. The punt on Prop 8 allows them to take the fight to every red state in the country. The invalidation of DOMA lays the groundwork for winning that fight. It’s just a matter of time, and meanwhile every bigot in the country will be very publicly on the defensive.

  • Joey Miller

    Federal government has to recognize it because you are married officially in another state. It would allow you to get Federal but not that states benefits. Unless you move to that state.

  • Joey Miller

    They get federal benefits but not state.

  • Jaime Birmingham

    I’m guessing TX will be the last.. Grr. I’m so happy the Supreme court did the right thing.

  • Anonymous

    I hold out little hope for some of the right-wing legislature states, like Wisconsin and Texas and others…they don’t care about economic issues, just “religious” issues.

  • Joey Miller

    That is wrong. It just forfeits their state benefits.

  • Willis

    You may want to notice that this is not true for a state issued license to carry a concealed weapon.
    The SD license grants you the ability to drive in SD at age 15.
    A driver who is visiting another state must abide by the laws of the visited state, not of the state that issued the license.

  • Jeffry House

    We have them surrounded.

  • Anonymous

    Texas will be sued by someone married in another state looking for recognition under the ‘equal protection laws’ just like when Texas was forced to change sodomy laws by the Supreme court.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. Many thought this WOULD be how it was deciuded but they decided more broadly meaning anyone from any states where it’s banned can go get married where they allow out of state couples to marry and then be recognized by federal government for federal benefits, etc.

  • Garrett

    No, Virginia will be. We were the last to integrate, afterall.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, very interesting. In theory you could make the California v. Texas argument on a federalist basis. But the reasoning in the DOMA case is so broad (equal protection) it would seem to trump the states’ rights argument. In short: the DOMA decision provides the basis for overturning gay marriage bans around the country, and Scalia knows it (hence his tantrum).

  • Anonymous

    Feds have to under the new law but states don’t which means you could file jointly for taxes under federal tax forms but not state forms in states where same sex-marriage is illegal or unconstitutional.

  • Tom Bollin

    Yes, the map shows the exactness of the Court’s ruling. However it is disingenuous to make a simple statement: “here’s what the Supreme Court just did.” The Court actually opened the issue to be resolved by many more law suits and provided the language to guarantee future success for equality across the whole nation.

  • Anonymous

    Washington State!

  • Mauigirl

    I think the clincher, however, was that New York recognized their marriage.

  • Liam Bean

    Funny thing about those antisodomy laws. Cowboys and cows on long trail drives. Just sayin.

  • M. Aurelius Antoninus

    Trick is, if one of these gets recognized from state to state, it should be perfectly fine to recognize the others.

  • Christine Bush

    We and them? Discriminating language indeed.

  • Donald Frazier

    Not entirely accurate. Colorado’s gay unions act of last spring legalizes de facto marriage; the state was prevented from calling it that by an earlier constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It’s all semantics in this case.

  • Steve Clark

    They Could not, and Cannot say no to equality. That’s why they through their Puppet Masters the bone yesterday, to try and appease them before today’s ruling. Yes all it will take is one couple from each state and they will all become equal. The Court cannot rule against itself.

  • tomr

    Unfortunately, I think “yesterday” (striking down the voting rights act, essentially) was more than a bone. It’s a serious bomb dropped on equality. Roberts really must live in a fishbowl.

  • James Hayes-Bohanan

    I would suggest “temporary” rather than disingenuous. The map is a snapshot, different from a year ago and sure to change all the quicker following these rulings.

  • Henry Fitts

    I am a “conservative Democrat”, which means I support a society in which everyone is concerned about everyone else as one nation, I also believe marriage is between one man and one woman. I believe the federal government has really stepped into a pile of you know what on this issue, because their only real concern is the COST of recognition. Our fiscal state is not so good right about now and these issues like social security, Welfare, and marriage benefits are all about the MONEY. There are some “back channel” forces bending and shaping our country and our government. I don’t know who they are or their ultimate goal. I think those forces are on a level away from the president. He is a single figure(head) and when he is gone, the “forces” will continue to move, through whomever replace him.

  • destroyideas

    So were separate drinking fountains.

  • YahooSirius

    This idea that the church has dominion over marriage is a false one., They did not invent it, they co-opted it. It was always wrong to discriminate it as it is the primary doctrine to keep religion out of government.

  • Donald Frazier

    Hah! True that. In any case there’s a sorta conspiracy of silence here, with everybody delighted by the new law, but nobody willing to come right out and say this is the same thing as marriage – or to say that it’s not.

  • Mike

    what? That makes no sense! SOMEONE is a little paranoid I think!

  • j

    When you die, does your wife get to keep anything that you both worked your entire wedded life for? If so, shut the f*** up! If not, than you must be GAY.

  • Joel

    Seems to me that this isn’t about marriage equality since not all people can still get married (polygamous, intergenerational relationships, etc). Rather the preference of one definition over another. Each view has it’s limit on marriage.

  • Pete Joachim

    ??huh?? – what are scared of? By your logic, Lincoln should have never abolished slavery since slave labor was so intrinsic to the southern states’ economies. They were afraid of losing their monopolies. You know, even today, pure principle can outweigh MONEY – it doesn’t happen often – but this is one of those cases.

  • ts

    Intergenerational relationships? Do you mean marriage between a minor and an adult?

  • ejc

    It is about the start of marriage equality. Well, the continuation. Think of interracial marriages – and now they are accepted, even commonplace in some areas. Now same-sex marriage. These are the huge steps – lots of baby steps in between. Time for some more baby steps and then huge steps? (Thinking this is a bit like “Mother, may I?”)

  • moderator

    Hi Everyone,

    I know this issue brings out a great deal of passion on both sides, but please remember to stay on topic and refrain from personal attacks.


    Sean @Moyers

  • Anthony

    I’m thinking that they mean marriage between someone who’s over the age of eighteen and someone who’s super-duper-over the age of eighteen?

    It’s like a Gen-X-er marrying a Baby Boomer, really.

  • Debra P.

    de facto marriage doesn’t count-if it not a fully state-sanctioned marriage (i.e. can’t be a domestic partnership, civil union, etc.) it is NOT covered under this ruling. It only covers states in which same sex couples can marry in the same exact way that heterosexual couples can. It isn’t semantics.

  • MScott

    I think the ultimate goal of these ‘back channel forces’ is growth…..psychologically, emotionally and intelligently. If you are afraid of those things, I’d consider therapy.

  • Married Joe – or not?

    What if you are married in a state where gay marriage is legal but then move to a state, like CO, that only has civil unions?

  • Amira

    I can’t wait until they’re all orange!

  • Amira

    But that’s not illegal, so it would be an invalid example.

  • Anonymous

    Yay for gays!!!!!! Congratulations to the court and to everyone who has faced the wrath of those who don’t understand discrimination under the guise of religion…that once approved slavery…disapproved mixed marriage, and chose to ignore some of the crazier tenets of the OT like killing those who work on the sabbath.( Hate was easier.) amen

  • Amira

    Anywhere you see orange on the map, lady! Congrats!!! 😀

  • Anonymous

    “hears hoping they will agree with the ones in California that made that ruling”

    It’s almost certain they will. The DOMA decision gives them very solid ground on which to do so (equal protection).

  • Connie C.

    That’s all well and good for Marriage Equality… but do you think the SCOTUS is announcing this news to cover the very disappointing news of the Voting Rights Act rejection? All thinking and caring people should be shouting in the streets about that!

  • Anonymous

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    Federal government has to
    recognize it because you are married officially in another state. It
    would allow you to get Federal but not that states benefits. Unless you
    move to that state.

  • DC

    What it points out so clearly, as if this is anything new, is just how political SCOTUS is. The myth of objectivity is shattered. Embrace corporations but toss progressives a bone.

  • Paul Muto

    and what about people that love goats , they too are denied , being gay was outlawed not long ago , laws are morals and the removal of morals , are what happened today

  • CaptainJackAttack

    Wait a second…Gays can marry now? What about minorities? Surely they can’t get married? And the Irish! Oh God not the Irish!

  • Jeroboam II

    I think they meant marriage of siblings, or parent-child, or with first cousins etc.

  • Jeroboam II

    I would include every state from North Dakota to Texas in that assessment. It’s just a historical fact that conservatives can count on solid backing there every four years. As a Libertarian (often lumped in with conservatives) I’m delighted by the expansion of social liberties.

  • AmericanMillennium

    That will never happen…we’ll make sure of it.

  • AmericanMillennium

    So discrimination is fine as long as you are the discriminator…I’m starting to get the liberal philosophy.

  • AmericanMillennium

    In case you haven’t notice SCOTUS has been siding with states rights a lot lately. You will never live to see gay marriage in Texas.

  • Shoplifters

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. One day you’ll be brave enough to except who you are, until then I understand why you’ll punish those who reflect the thing you hate most about yourself.

  • Lvnwrth

    What is the reason for laws against polygamy? Why should marriage only be between two consenting adults? Why not three or four, if all parties agree? The only reason for laws against polygamy is that it is outside the societal norm, and that rationale was just tossed out by SCOTUS.

  • Lvnwrth

    This statement shows a serious lack of understanding of the history of marriage. In almost all cultures, regardless of the religion practiced in that culture, marriage was a religious construct which was co-opted by the state.

  • lvnwrth

    The solution to the potential fiscal problem is pretty simple. Eliminate all federal preferences for married individuals. The government has no business…never has had any business…giving preference to married couples over single individuals.

  • balance

    I’m going to laugh so hard when Texas votes for marriage equality in a few years. I’ll think of you & hope your vote got counted.

  • Jim

    Most of those reading this consider themselves sophisticated ……Let them keep thinking that . If we were to point out how ludicrous it really is to ban Polygamy , they would probably “see their shadow” , lose any sense of accomplishment , crawl back into the safety of heir caves and cease any further development .

  • Thebuzzardman

    You know that there is an allegiance between gay rights groups and Mormon polygamist fundamentalists for the this very reason don’t you? Politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.

  • Thebuzzardman

    The Mormon polygamists hope that once the marriage is extended to gays by law, next step is by logic (their logic) is that polygamy could be legalized. Caveat: I agree; I tend to be against laws that tell consenting adults what to do, but then again, polygamists tend to marry up girls under 18 in LOTS of instances. That would have to be prohibited.

    I see the government as continuing to to be dead against polygamy as it would completely screw up their system of taxes, welfare, benefits, healthcare etc etc. Even if there is a strong moral stance against in this country (right or wrong) our massive government would NEVER allow the implications.

  • Thebuzzardman

    You mean siding with states rights except when it comes to the Feds busting medical marijuana clinics etc that are LEGAL in those states?

    The government is so massive, with competing agendas in any one branch, it’s hard to say exactly where they stand. All over the place basically. A buffet of intrusion (or not)

  • Edward

    It is hard not to cry, I feel so bad for my friends and family that still live in red states. Where straight Christians can abuse people marriage and children with impunity.I am with out fear. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I realized I have not felt or thought of fear for quite some time . Those that wish us harm no longer have any power

  • Kenny Jaeger

    Hi Bill. I have some good stories for you and your friends on

  • aboyscoutgonebad

    Lynwrth….can you name even one attribution for that ridiculous statement?! Marriage has always been about the ownership of women and other chattel. Even biblical marriage has been so redefined as to hold no relationship to the institution as we know it today. Only in recent times has “marriage” for “love” even been considered an option. As for polygamy amongst consenting adults…why should I care? Oh, that’s right…I don’t. I think we may have to look at amending tax and inheritance rules. Frankly, I think we should discard the entire institution of marriage altogether. It’s archaic and frankly a failed experiment. Surely we can come up with something more realistic and manageable.

  • Great American Society

    You seem to be very hateful and not open minded at all, not progressive, not Christian, not understanding and compassionate, etc…etc…etc… Hey let’s legislate all these qualities out of the fabric of our Great American Society !!! If we did that you would be screwed !!!

  • Michael Morin

    There’s supposed to be another map? When I click on page 2 it says it doesn’t exist.

  • darbytwo

    Make a list of the behaviors that don’t create victims but do create moral outrage, and I think you’ll find the leading edge of our growth as a people.

  • sel

    Darbytwo – I think that’s a great observation and very well said!

  • Gi Joe

    Thank you Bill Moyers it is important to know that God is still speaking, faith is not just for the included. You do a service for life and we all should appreciate that. Our battle is really, first against greed (power), then ignorance.

  • Amtak

    No, Roberts knows precisely what he is doing, and has designed to do ever since his appointment. Together with the gang of four conservatives (all appointed by conservatives), he intends to take us back to the good old days of, say, Queen Victoria.

  • tomr

    But those eyes really do make you think of a goldfish, admit it! As an academic reference to my earlier comment, please see, “The Meaning of Life,” by Monty Python.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the Republican philosophy, not “liberal.”