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Questions about Gay Marriage Laws

In what states is gay marriage legal?

At present, the only state that has legalized the marriage between gay couples is Massachusetts. However, only residents of Massachusetts are allowed to be married there. Same sex couples can also marry in Canada without having residency. There are a few states that recognize same sex civil unions, although they do not recognize gay marriage. These include: New Jersey, California, Hawaii, Maine, Washington State, Nevada, Oregon, Illinois, Delaware, Wisconsin, and Colorado.

On what "civil rights" grounds was gay marriage law passed?

It was passed based upon the Equal Protection Due Process Clause of the New York and US Constitutions. The equal protection clause states that all people will be treated equally under the laws regardless of age/race/sex and the activist judges have added in sexual preference in some state's constitutions. This means if all people are equal, then all people can marry whomever they choose regardless of their preference. The validity of the civil rights grounds is a common ground for debate since it is a matter of individual perception. Likewise, different states view these grounds differently. If you are not sure of the legal standing of gay marriage or same sex relationships in your state, you could bring your questions to Lawyers on JustAnswer.

Will spousal support end if an ex-spouse remarries in California. What would be the impact if a spouse is now in a same-sex relationship?

Spousal support typically ends when a spouse remarries or enters a relationship that is the functional equivalent of marriage. In other words the law does not provide for a person to just cohabitate forever and live off the spousal support from a former spouse. Even though California doesn't recognize gay marriage, it does recognize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples. Domestic partnerships are considered essentially the same as marriage, and that can be used as grounds for termination of spousal support. In order to terminate spousal support, one must go to the court and file a Petition to Terminate Support.

If a gay couple was married in Canada but live in California are they legally married in the US?

Since a gay marriage is not recognized in the US the Canadian marriage is not valid in the US. You would have to register it in California just like any other couple who got married out of the country. However, you would be legally married and the marriage would be recognized in Canada. If you ever need to file for a divorce in future, you have to follow the divorce laws in Canada. But if both you and your spouse are living in the US, as long as the spouse is not trying to sue for any belongings or assets, there should be no legal issues or problems with a gay couple married in Canada living in California.

Can a gay marriage that was performed in Connecticut be dissolved in South Carolina?


Gay marriage is a widely debated subject and there is no consensus across the country on the legality of gay marriage or the rights of same-sex couples. For same-sex couples wanting to get married, this can give rise to many legal issues, doubts and questions. When you bring your questions to Family Lawyers on JustAnswer, you can benefit from a quick opinion, insight or direction provided by lawyers who face these questions every day.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9263
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
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12 Family Lawyers are Online Now

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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Gay Marriage Questions

  • Are Mexican prenuptial agreements recognized in the United

    Are Mexican prenuptial agreements recognized in the United States? The marriage will be a gay marriage that will take place in Mexico City where it is legal.
  • I was married in west Hollywood CA in 2008(?) when gay marriage

    I was married in west Hollywood CA in 2008(?) when gay marriage was FIRST legalized, prior to being revoked again soon after.... I can not find any proof of marriage online @ public records sites and I would like to find out how to get divorced ASAP if the marriage IS in fact still valid. We have been separated for 5 years and are not in any type of contact.... Any advise to get divorced (if needed) would be very helpful as most lawyers will not discuss gay divorce it seems. We have NO money or assets to be divided.
  • My friend, Ken, and his husband, Jon, were married in CA and

    My friend, Ken, and his husband, Jon, were married in CA and moved to AZ on a temporary basis due to Jon's failing health. Jon died in an AZ hospital. His husband, Ken, says Soc. Security is holding Jon's back social security because they do not recognize gay marriage in AZ. The coroner indicated on the death certificate that Jon was never married. The mortuary would not let Ken make decisions about the funeral because Ken was not "next of kin." The hospital treated Jon very poorly,including numerous incidents of severe neglect, that clearly hastened Jon's early demise. The hospital now has attorneys involved and will not deal with Ken because they do not recognize the marriage. I think Ken needs a civil rights attorney before he sees a private practice atty. Based on the events, Ken clearly has a very strong case against the hospital but he has no money to fight this world-renowned hosp in Phoenix. As of now, he has very little to live on. What are his options with respects to legal aide, soc. security benefits, etc.
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