Bil Browning

Where gays can get married

Filed By Bil Browning | April 21, 2009 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

I admit it, I'm a map geek. I tend to be visually oriented; if I can see it, I understand it better. This Chicago Tribune graphic showing where gays can get married is really helpful for seeing the bigger picture. Clickety to embiggen.


I wonder what the map will look like at the end of the year. What other states do you think will make the jump in 2009?

Thanks to the Tribune for permission to reprint the gay marriage map.

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Weird choice for shading, though.

White: no law
Light shade: state constitution constitutional
Medium shade: state law
Dark Blue: marriage equality

I think I would have switched them around a bit, to rank them my level of prohibition/acceptance:

White: state constitution constitutional
Light shade: state law
Medium shade: no law
Dark Blue: marriage equality

I heart maps, as well, Bil. Whenever I give someone directions, I see a Google map in my head. (Perhaps they've already started implanting the chips...)

I'm with Cindi on the shading. What I'd really like to see is a map that shows active legislation to overturn bans/enact marriage equality, like in Minnesota. Let's see a map that shows the real change possible between now and 2012, say. The rest of New England plus New York and New Jersey would definitely be on that list!

Aside from the confusing shading choices on the map, the info for WA. state is misleading.

While it's true that there is a law prohibiting marriage, there is also domestic partnership rights which have been extended several times. Now, it has virtually all of the same states rights that marriage grants.

In response to Rory:
Yeah, but...for those of us who married in another state, but live in Washington, the distinction between Domestic Partnership and Marriage is painful for some of us. Its hard to explain how it feels, but having someone in an official position tell you that your marriage is not recognized as such in your home state hurts. Its like having someone say that your marriage and family count for less at home than it does in the state where you got married.

In our case, my wife is trans and we were able to get married in Idaho (of all places), because they do not recognize anything but the sex one is assigned at birth--hence, we were able to get married. Whether our marriage will continue to be recognized for any official purposes in Washington state is anyone's guess; it has only happened once so far (and the guy's boss over-ruled him), but at any given time some idiot could refuse to accept our marriage as legal, since we are now a same sex couple and Washington does not recognize same sex marriages.

I didn't mean to imply that WA.'s domestic partnership arrangement was satisfactory compared to actual marriage. But it isn't insignificant, either.

As far as your marriage, it is absolutely valid. If a marriage is legally entered into, and recognized by other states (i.e. WA. recognizes ID. marriages), it remains a legal marriage. The only way a marriage ceases to exists is if it's dissolved by a court in a divorce.

There seems to be a misconception because of so-called DOMA laws that once someone transitions that their marriage is either in doubt or voided. Neither is the case. We're way too quick to strip ourselves of rights because we assume discrimination is the norm.

Rory, I by no means meant to imply that our DP expansion is insignificant; in fact, it is a huge step forward. I only meant that it feels like a punch in the stomach to have some idiot try to say that you are "not really" married, when you are.

As to your point about our marriage being valid, you are factually correct, but unfortunately not everyone understands that. We know what the law says and that legal precedents in the state are in our favor, but as you said, there are some people out there who hold misconceptions about it, due to WA State DOMA. There is also always the risk that someone will file a civil action that will result in a new precedent being set that would contradict the precedents set prior to state DOMA. Is that likely to happen? IMHO, no. But is it possible? Yes.

[By the way the the argument you used as an example, that WA recognizes all marriages performed in ID, was exactly what I said to the supervisor who intervened when the guy tried to refuse to add my wife to our insurance. He agreed, and we got our insurance sorted out.]

I don't know who would have standing to file a civil suit, nor what action the suit could call for. I can't imagine anyone scouring the marriage licenses to compare against birth certificates to see if there's a discrepancy.

As for the moron at your work who apparently believed he was a state court judge, if anyone else is similarly deluded, contact the state Human Rights Commission if they won't relent. They're very trans-friendly, and I'm sure they would be happy to straighten them out.

Where in WA. do you live?

Hi, Rory.

We are in Pullman.

In terms of civil actions, only someone with standing would be able to file to void a marriage (in our case, that would be no one), but sometimes its the odd-ball cases that end up setting precedents, such as someone who wants to get out of alimony by saying their marriage became void, etc. (again, not real likely in Washington).

[BTW, all of my wife's ID (including her passport) has been updated to "female", except her birth certificate--she is from Mississippi, where the most they are willing to do for someone who has SRS is put notes in the margin with the new name and gender. One day maybe MS will come into the 21st century, but I am not going to hold my breath.]

Well, the good news is that once you have a passport and driver's license, there's virtually no instance when you'd have to present your birth certificate.

And I agree that MS. will be unlikely to join the 20th century (sic) anytime soon.

I used to have a theory that states would hate the idea of gay marriage more than transsexuals with correct birth certificates. That is, recognizing same sex marriages, such as yours, rather than acknowledging someone's true gender. But the Littleton case in Texas showed me the error of my theory.

Here's another variation on the map, via NPR.

The shading/coloring on that map is soooo much easier to read. Thanks for sharing it, Dana.