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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.
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