Christianity,  Culture,  Politics

Where Same-Sex Marriage Stands in the 50 States

NBC News has a report explaining where same-sex marriage stands in the United States. There is good bit of information in this article, but I think this is the key line:

Since last summer’s Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8, two historic marriage cases, not a single state marriage ban has survived a federal court challenge.

This of course does not bode well for states that have lawsuits still pending. Those states are Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

The ground is moving beneath our feet. Read the rest here.


  • James Bradshaw

    In all of these states where gay marriage is legal, heterosexual marriage will continue as it has for decades.

    Perhaps more gay men will reject lives of promiscuity for commitment and fidelity.

    How is any of this a bad thing?

    • Nick Graves

      Because many Christians will be forced to recognize something as marriage that we believe is not marriage at all.

      Also, I think Arkansas should be in light blue.

      • buddyglass

        Your wording is curious, because I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d be forced to recognize same-sex marriage as a true spiritual union blessed by God.

        Can you elaborate?

            • Esther O'Reilly

              It’s bad enough to have to recognize it as a legitimate marital union under the state, whether or not you’re silently saying to yourself, “But of course God is making a frowny-face about this.” That alone is disgraceful.

    • buddyglass

      C’mon, you should know the arguments by now. I’ll play devil’s advocate:

      1. If more gays reject lives of promiscuity for commitment and fidelity then there will be more committed gay couples which means more gay couples raising children which means more children who won’t be raised by a mother and father.

      2. Normalization of same-sex marriage will accelerate the growing popularity of the view that homosexuality is morally neutral. That is a bad thing because [hand waving].

      3. Normalization of same-sex marriage will do further damage the view that marriage is necessarily about having children (in situations where its not impossible due to age or medical condition).

      4. The Bible defines marriage as the union of a man and woman. Ergo two individuals of the same sex can never really marry. For the state to recognize same-sex “marriages”, then, is absurd and renders language almost meaningless. It would be like the recognizing fish as dogs. Just as a fish is clearly not a dog the union of two same-sex individuals cannot be a “marriage”.

      5. More married same-sex couples means more same-sex couples taking advantage of the financial benefits of marriage which takes money out of my pocket.

      6. Legal recognition of same-sex marriages results in violations of religious freedom when individuals who reject these unions are forced to participate in them and/or are prevented from discriminating against same-sex couples.

      7. States rights! The federal courts are using bogus legal arguments to overreach and abrogate duly enacted state legislation.

      8. Sexual intimacy between those of the same sex is clearly depicted as sinful in the Bible. Marriage assumes sexual intimacy. So for the state to recognize same-sex marriage is for it to give license to sin. The state should not give license to sin. Because [hand waving].

      • James Bradshaw

        Thanks for the reminder. I may print them out and put them on the fridge!

        I do wish to touch on #2 and #3.

        If a homosexual act (regardless of the age and intent of the participants) is sinful simply due to the fact that it thwarts the “divine intent” for sex (namely procreation), then so is any heterosexual act that is not procreative because of “kind” or where artificial barriers to contraception are used. This is a simple logical inference is it not?

        Thus, one MUST reject contraception of any kind as well as any non-procreative sex act, even in the marriage bed (at least if one is going to be consistent).

        Yes, the Bible makes no mention of these things, but arguments from silence are a bit risky .. the Bible makes no mention of whether it’s permissible for a 30-year-old man to marry a 12-year-old girl, but how many would not see it as predatory and deem it permissible to do so (regardless of the laws)?

        • buddyglass

          Eh. You can be in the process of obeying the command to be fruitful and still use contraception for a season. Also procreation isn’t the only divine purpose for sex.

          If I get inspired I’ll go back and rebut all those points.

  • Ryan Stein

    If you look closely at the map there is one state that remains untouched and it is not because of its size. North Dakota is considered to be one of the strongest economy’s in the whole of the USA right now. Why has this state remained untouched because of the hard working folks who still hold to the traditional values they brought with them to settle that land. They got it right on the abortion issue last year and so far they are getting it right on the issue of homosexual marriage. Makes me glad I married a North Dakota girl.

    • James Stanton


      North Dakota remains untouched because a case hasn’t been filed. Expect one to be filed in the near future. I’m sure the people of N. Dakota would vote to restrict marriage to heterosexuals in 2014 but I doubt that a legal challenge would fail.

      N. Dakota’s economy is strong due in large part to the oil boom.

  • Esther O'Reilly

    I wish the map would say “same-sex unions state-sanctioned as marriage” or “marriage redefined” instead of “same-sex marriage allowed.”

  • James Bradshaw

    Nick writes: “Because many Christians will be forced to recognize something as marriage that we believe is not marriage at all.”

    This is not a new problem, though. As I’ve stated here (repeatedly), civil marriage licenses are extended to heterosexual couples that would never be granted a church ceremony because of the various rules of Christian traditions (interfaith, remarriages, etc).

    All businesses, Christian or secular, who offer marital benefits must extend these benefits to all heterosexual couples married in the eyes of the law, and all businesses providing services to legally married couples cannot pick and choose who they will service.

    So how is this a new issue?

    Now, if you wish for exemptions from these laws that acknowledge gay marriages on the basis of religious belief, then you must … MUST … include exemptions for businesses who wish to deny their services to interfaith couples, remarried couples or even interracial couples. Otherwise, your “religious objections” just show themselves to be what most of us already think they are: irrational prejudice rather than religious principles.

    Yes, I think we need to allow for freedom of conscience in certain realms within our society at the individual level (such as military exemptions, etc). However, I’m not certain how you extend this to institutions.

    If you have a solution, I’d be interested to hear it.

    • Nick Graves

      Christians, like myself, would say that interfaith marriages are wrong, but they wouldn’t say that they are not marriages. Non-Christians in a civil marriage would not be required to re-marry in a church service upon joining the church. Gay “marriage,” on the other hand, is a fundamental re-definition of marriage that has significant first-amendment effects. You cannot have both “gay marriage” and religious liberty.

      Institutions should have every right that an individual should have, as they are comprised of individuals.

      • Michael Lynch

        Thank you Nick for answering James’ terribly weak and uneducated (with regards to Biblical understanding of marriage) argument. Unfortunately, I believe Christians attempting to seriously answer James anymore on this blog are just casting pearls before swine.

      • James Bradshaw

        So interfaith marriage and heterosexual remarriage are “wrong”/sinful (at least in most instances) based on any honest interpretation of Scripture, but there is no moral issue for a Christian to knowingly take part or facilitate such a marriage whether it’s a civil ceremony or a church ceremony?

        Meanwhile, a Christian is morally obliged to not take part in even facilitating the granting of a *civil* license to two gay men because gay marriage “doesn’t exist”?

        Is this supposed to pass for coherence?

        • Nick Graves

          I should have been more clear that it is the wedding of an interfaith couple, not the resulting marriage that is sinful. That is still a marriage. It’s not ideal, but divorce is worse. It would be wrong to take part in the wedding of an unequally-couple, but once they are married, they are not expected to end their marriage. The Church would recognize it as a marriage. Gay “marriage” on the other hand, is not considered marriage at all. Celebration of it either during the actual “wedding” ceremony or at any point is sinful.

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