The following four states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage between one man and one woman are Alaska, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Nevada. Thirty-three other states have passed laws through the legislature defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
The following chart sets out marriage definition laws in all 50 states and the District in Columbia. We have compiled this information from CNN, the Family Research Council, S.F. Chronicle and the Human Rights Campaign. Quotes, unless specified otherwise, are the exact wording of state codes or legislation.
AL Statute Sec. 30-1-19
"(d) No marriage shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex" AND "(e) The state of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issues."
2A. AK Statute Sec. 25.05.013
2B. AK Constit. Amend., Article 1, Sec. 25
2A. "A same-sex relationship may not be recognized by the state as being entitled to the benefits of marriage."
2B. "To be valid or recognized in this state, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman."
AZ Rev. Statute Ann. 25-101
"Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited."
AR Statute 9-11-109
"Marriage shall be only between a man and a woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex is void."
CA Family Code Sec. 308.5
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
"The legislation [AB205] is an expansion of a bill [Cal. Gov.] Davis signed in 1999 that created domestic partnerships as a legal recognition of same-sex unions. It extends a new range of rights and responsibilities to gay and lesbian partnerships: legal access to family court, community property settlements, alimony, child support, the right to make funeral arrangements for a deceased partner and the right of one partner not to testify against the other." - S.F. Chronicle, 9/20/03
CO Statute Sec. 14-2-104
"(1)...a marriage is valid in this state if: ...(b) it is only between one man and one woman."
CT Statute 45a-727a
"(4) It is further found that the current public policy of the state of Connecticut is now limited to a marriage between a man and a woman."
DE Statute Title 13 101
"A marriage is prohibited and void between a person and his or her ancestor, descendant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin or between persons of the same gender."
9. District of Columbia
FL Statute Ann. 741.212
"(1) Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state." AND "(3) For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term "marriage" means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term "spouse" applies only to a member of such a union."
GA Code 19-3-3.1
"It is declared to be the public policy of this state to recognize the union only of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state."
12A. HA Rev Statute 572-3
12B. HA Const. Amend., Art 1, '23
"Marriages between a man and a woman legal in the country where contracted shall be held legal in the courts of this State."
"The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples."
ID Statute 32-209
"All marriages contracted without this state, which would be valid by the laws of the state or country in which the same were contracted, are valid in this state, unless they violate the public policy of this state. Marriages that violate the public policy of this state include, but are not limited to, same- sex marriages, and marriages entered into under the laws of another state or country with the intent to evade the prohibitions of the marriage laws of this state."
IL Statute Ch. 750 '5/212
"(a) The following marriages are prohibited: ...(5) a marriage between 2 individuals of the same sex."
IN Code 31-11-1-1
"Sec. 1. (a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female. (b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized."
IA Statute 595.2
"1. Only a marriage between a male and a female is valid."
KS Statute Ann. 23-101
"The marriage contract is to be considered in law as a civil contract between two parties who are of opposite sex. All other marriages are declared to be contrary to the public policy of this state and are void."
KY Statute 402.020
"(1) Marriage is prohibited and void: ...(d) Between members of the same sex."
19A. LA Statute C.C. Art. 89
19B. LA Statute C.C. Art. 89 3520
19A. "Persons of the same sex may not contract marriage with each other";
19B. "A purported marriage between persons of the same sex violates a strong public policy of the state of Louisiana and such a marriage contracted in another state shall not be recognized in this state for any purpose, including the assertion of any right or claim as a result of the purported marriage."
ME Statute Title 19-A '701
"5. Same sex marriage prohibited. Persons of the same sex may not contract marriage."
MI Statute 551.1
"Sec. 1. Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting that unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state."
MN Statute Ann. 517.01
"Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential. Lawful marriage may be contracted only between persons of the opposite sex and only when a license has been obtained as provided by law and when the marriage is contracted in the presence of two witnesses and solemnized by one authorized, or whom one or both of the parties in good faith believe to be authorized, so to do. Marriages subsequent to April 26, 1941 , not so contracted shall be null and void."
MS Code Ann. 93-1-1
"(2) Any marriage between persons of the same gender is prohibited and null and void from the beginning. Any marriage between persons of the same gender that is valid in another jurisdiction does not constitute a legal or valid marriage in Mississippi."
MO Statute 451.022
"1. It is the public policy of this state to recognize marriage only between a man and a woman."
MT Code Ann. 40-1-401
"(1) The following marriages are prohibited: ...(d) a marriage between persons of the same sex." "(4) A contractual relationship entered into for the purpose of achieving a civil relationship that is prohibited under subsection (1) is void as against public policy."
NE Const. Amend. Art 1, 29
"Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska . The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."
NE Const. Amend., Question No. 2
"Only a marriage between a male and a female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state."
30. New Hampshire
31. New Jersey
32. New Mexico
33. New York
34. North Carolina
NC Gen. Statute 51-1.2
"Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina , between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina."
35. North Dakota
ND Statute 14-03-01
"Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between one man and one woman to which the consent of the parties is essential. The marriage relation may be entered into, maintained, annulled, or dissolved only as provided by law. A spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
OH Statute Pending
No regulations at this time - "Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, recently re-introduced the Defense of Marriage Act in the Ohio House to make a concrete legal distinction between a homosexual relationship and a marriage." - 11/10/03 Port Clinton News Herald
43 OK Statute Ann. 3.1
"A marriage between persons of the same gender performed in another state shall not be recognized as valid and binding in this state as of the date of the marriage."
PA Statute 23 C.S.A. 1704
"It is hereby declared to be the strong and longstanding public policy of this Commonwealth that marriage shall be between one man and one woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex which was entered into in another state or foreign jurisdiction, even if valid where entered into, shall be void in this Commonwealth."
40. Rhode Island
41. South Carolina
SC Statute 20-1-15
"A marriage between persons of the same sex is void ab initio [from the beginning] and against the public policy of this State."
42. South Dakota
SD Statute 20-1-1
"Marriage is a personal relation, between a man and a woman, arising out of a civil contract to which the consent of parties capable of making it is necessary."
TN Code Ann. 36-3-113
"(b) The legal union in matrimony of only one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be the only recognized marriage in this state. (c) Any policy, law or judicial interpretation that purports to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one (1) man and one (1) woman is contrary to the public policy of Tennessee."
Texas Family Code 6.204
"(b) A marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state.
(c) The state or an agency or political subdivision of the state may not give effect to a:
(1) public act, record, or judicial proceeding that creates, recognizes, or validates a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction; or
(2) right or claim to any legal protection, benefit, or responsibility asserted as a result of a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction."
UT Statute 30-1-2
"The following marriages are prohibited and declared void: (5) between persons of the same sex."
VA Code 20-45.2
"A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable."
No regulations, same-sex civil unions are permitted.
48A. WA Statute 26.04.010
48B. WA Statute 26.04.020
48A. "Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female..."
48B. "(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited: (c) When the parties are persons other than a male and a female."
49. West Virginia
4WV Statute 48-1-18a
"A public act, record or judicial proceeding of any other state, territory, possession or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of any other state, territory, possession or tribe or a right or claim arising from the relationship shall not be given effect by this state."