Lay Of The Legal Landscape Concerning Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuits


This is big day for the same-sex marriage issue in Wisconsin as a federal court panel hears the arguments for and against gay couples having their full civil rights recognized.  As analysis of todays’ events trickle in here is how the lay of the legal landscape looks this morning around the nation.

There are currently: 92 pending marriage equality lawsuits in 33 states (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY) and Puerto Rico.

60 of these are in federal court;  19 of those are on appeal.  Petitions for a writ of certiorari have been filed with the United States Supreme Court in 3 of these.

32 are in state courts;  15 of these are on appeal; and 25 raise federal claims.

There are pending marriage equality lawsuits in all states that do not currently allow same-sex couples to marry, and in all Circuits of the U.S. Courts of Appeals in which not all states allow same-sex couples to marry.

Marriage equality exists in 19 states and DC

In addition:

  • more than 500 same-sex couples married in AR,
  • more than 200 same-sex couples married in CO,
  • more than 800 same-sex couples married in IN,
  • more than 300 same-sex couples married in MI,
  • more than 500 same-sex couples married in WI,
  • and more than 1,200 same-sex couples married in UT, before stays were issued of rulings that those states’ marriage bans are unconstitutional or orders were issued directing that no further marriage licenses be issued pending appeals of lower court rulings.

As a general matter, these marriages are now being recognized for at least federal law purposes. 

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