Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
An International Resource for Same-sex Couples
All families deserve equal treatment. Partners Task Force supports the diverse community of committed gay and
lesbian partners through a variety of media. This Web site contains more than 400 essays, surveys, legal articles and
resources on legal marriage, ceremonies, domestic partner benefits, relationship tips, parenting, and immigration.

Demian, director, Partners Task Force, Seattle, WA
206-935-1206   ||   ||

Table of Contents

Notable Events Legal Marriage Essays Legal Marriage Data Ceremonial Marriage Domestic Partnership
Legal Necessities Relationship Tips Immigration Couples Chronicles Parenting
Inspiration Orientation Basics Surveys Resource Lists Citation Information
Welcome (About) Your Host Copyright Policy Link Policies Search Site
All contents © 2017, Demian
No article or graphic may be reproduced without permission, excepting for personal or student, non-commercial use.
Nothing may be copied to any other Web site. For referencing, please see Citation Information.

• Notable Events

      Legal Marriage Notes
  • On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declared that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violates the U.S. Constitution.
    This decision extends the freedom to marry to all same-sex couples nationwide.

    This ruling was followed by several states breaking the law and continuing to deny legal marriage for same-sex couples, as well as numerous legislations attempts that were designed to damage the lives of LGBT people. Since 2013 — two years before the right to marry was obtained — there has been a record-breaking introduction of 254 anti-gay bills in many U.S. states. These include 104 based on religious exemptions, 34 in order to segregate transgender peoples, 62 in order to refuse marriage to same-sex couples, and 54 miscellaneous anti-gay laws. Of those bills, 20 have been signed into law. There are still 48 active bills (as of July 1, 2016). [See “The Dramatic Rise in State Efforts to Limit LGBT Rights” by Everdeen Mason, Aaron Williams and Kennedy Elliott, Washington Post, July 1, 2016]

Recent Events Leading up the Supreme Court Ruling Allowing Legal Marriage Equality
  • On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of all the cases from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: the Ohio marriage recognition cases litigated by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the firm of Gerhardstein & Branch, a Michigan marriage case being handled by GLAD and private counsel, the Kentucky marriage cases being handled by the ACLU and private counsel, and a Tennessee marriage case being handled by NCLR and private counsel. This lead to the halt of the anti-gay, anti-U.S. Constitutional denials of legal marriage for same-sex couples across America.
  • On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order declining to extend the stay on a federal court ruling striking down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The stay expired on January 5, 2015, at which point, Florida gained the right for same-sex couples to marry. Upon lifting the stay, a Florida judge ordered Miami-Dade County to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples immediately.
  • On October 17, 2014: The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alaska’s request for an emergency stay Friday morning, allowing same-sex marriages to resume.
  • On October 17, 2014: Judge Sedwick agreed with the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which struck down the discriminatory marriage bans, which were violations against the U.S. Constitution, in Arizona, Nevada and Idaho.
  • On October 17, 2014: A federal court in Casper, Wyoming ruled that Wyoming’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.
  • On October 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the discriminatory marriage bans for same-sex couples in Nevada and Idaho.
  • On October 6, the Supreme Court denied review of that 4th Circuit ruling, meaning that the decision allowing same-sex marriage would take effect across the circuit, including in West Virginia.
  • On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed marriage case decisions from the Seventh Circuit, Fourth Circuit and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal to stand, which thereby allows same-sex couples in Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma to legally marry.
  • As of May 2014, judges have ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
  • On August 30, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that same-sex married elders enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program will now be able to access important benefits for their spouses in skilled nursing facilities, even if they live in states that do not recognize their marriages. Previously, many LGBT seniors had to choose between being in a nursing home away from their spouse, or paying more money to be with their loved one.
  • On August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced a ruling that ensures all legally-married same-sex couples, regardless of where they live, will be recognized for federal tax purposes.
  • On June 28, 2013, with Prop 8 no longer valid, the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, lifted its prohibition, ordering state officials to ignore Proposition 8, and to resume offering legal marriage to same-sex couples in California.
  • On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal, so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DoMA) and California’s “Proposition 8” are unconstitutional. With DoMA removed, the federal government is no longer barred from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples. This should allow married, binational couples to stay together when the non-citizen partner applies for citizenship, and allow same-sex couples gain Federal workplace benefits, as well as Social Security survivor benefits.
  • On November 6, 2012, the states of Maine, Maryland and Washington won marriage equality through voter election process.
  • Countries offering legal marriage:
         Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2005), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010),
         Portugal (2010), Denmark (2012), France (2013), New Zealand (2013), Brazil (2013), Uruguay (2013), New Zealand (2013), United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland) (2013)
         Luxembourg (2014), Finland (2014), Ireland (2015), United States (2015), Colombia (2016), Germany (2017), Taiwan (2017), Malta (2017)
  • U.S. states and territories with marriage status in limbo at the time when the Supreme Court made marriage legal throughout the U.S.:
        Arkansas (2014) - Court ruling removed state ban on legal marriage for same-sex couples.
                The court order was stayed, stopping further marriages, pending legal challenge.
        Kansas (2014) - Court ruling removed state ban on legal marriage for same-sex couples.
                Some counties allow same-sex marriage. The court order was stayed for the other counties, pending Marie v. Moser.
        Michigan (2014) - Anti-gay marriage ban was was ruled unconstitutional, and more than 300 same-sex couples married.
                The court order was stayed, stopping further marriages, pending legal challenge.
  • Native American Tribes Offering Legal Marriage:
        Coquille Tribe, Mashantucket Pequot, Suquamish Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation,
        Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians,
        Santa Ysabel Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Leech Lake Tribal Court,
        Puyallup Tribe, Wind River Indian Reservation, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Colville Confederated Tribes,
        Central Council of Tlingit, Haida Indian Tribes.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: A Compelling Need
        The major legal ramifications of civil marriage —
        down loadable “slide” presentation for use in speaking engagements and debates.
• Legal Marriage Essays

      Marriage Essays from Partner Task Force       Marriage Essays from Prominent Leaders and Organizations       Arguments Opposing “DoMA” from the Congressional Record and congress member’s Web sites       Arguments Opposing “DoMA” from Community Leaders and Organizations       Arguments Opposing the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA)       Religious Support for the Legal Right to Marry
• Legal Marriage Data

      Factual Support for the Legal Right to Marry

           Factual Support - Legal Status

           Factual Support - Money       Governments that Offer Legal Marriage       History on the Legal Right to Marry       U.S. Court Findings
  • Hawaii Court Finding (Baehr v. Anderson - was Baehr v. Lewin, then Baehr v. Miike)
        by Judge Kevin S.C. Chang, First Circuit Court, Hawaii, Dec. 3, 1996
        The first major ruling for same-sex marriage; based on sex discrimination.
        A testament to the suitability of gay & lesbian parents to raise children.
  • Alaska Court Finding (Brause v. Alaska)
        by Superior Court Judge Peter A. Michalski, Feb. 27, 1998
        The second U.S. state court ruling in favor of same-sex legal marriage.
        Based on sex discrimination and the right to privacy.
  • Vermont Court Finding (Baker v. State of Vermont)
        by the Vermont Supreme Court, Dec. 20, 1999
        The third U.S. state court finding — same-sex couples must be given the full
        and equal protections, benefits, and responsibilities accorded married couples.
  • Massachusetts Court Finding (Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health)
        November 18, 2003
        The fourth U.S. state court finding — same-sex couples must be given the full
        and equal protections, benefits, and responsibilities accorded married couples.
        Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health court finding PDF file
  • New York Dissenting Opinion (Hernandez v. Robles)
        by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, July 6, 2006
        Makes clear the issues and the justice of allowing legal marriage.
  • Washington State Dissenting Opinion - Bridge (Andersen v. King County)
        by Justice Bobbe J. Bridge, July 26, 2006
        Clarifies the issues and the justice of allowing legal marriage.
  • Washington State Dissenting Opinion - Fairhurst (Andersen v. King County)
        by Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, July 26, 2006
        Expresses outrage at the blatent discrimination against same-sex couples.
  • Iowa District Court Finding (Varnum v. Brien)
        by Judge Robert B. Hanson, August 30, 2007
  • California Court Finding (PDF file) (In re Marriage Cases)
        by the California Supreme Court, October 15, 2008
  • Connecticut Court Finding (PDF file) (In re Marriage Cases)
        by the Connecticut Supreme Court, May 15, 2008
  • Maryland Court Finding (PDF file) (Port v. Cowan - divorce from out-of-state marriage)
        by the Maryland Court of Appeals, May 18, 2012
      Non-U.S. Court Findings
  • South Africa Court Finding (PDF file) (Minister of Home Affairs and Another v. Fourie and Another)
        December 1, 2005
        The fifth nation in the world to offer legal marriage to same-sex couples.
      Rights that Come with Legal Marriage       Legal Marriage Resources
• Ceremonial Marriage
• Domestic Partnership

      Domestic Partner Benefit Provider Lists
      in the U.S., Canada, and Selected Other Countries
      Global Governmental Legal Registration       Further Domestic Partnership Resources
• Legal Necessities
• Relationship Tips

      Tips       Abuse       Counseling Studies
• Immigration
• The Couples Chronicles
• Parenting
• Inspiration

      Committed Couples Photo Galleries — Your Images Go Here!

      Quotes — Affirmations and Provocations on Same-sex Couples

      Thought Pieces from Partners Task Force       Thought Pieces from Community Leaders       Media
• Orientation Basics

      Basics - Definitions       Basics - Anti-Gay Hatred Manifested       Basics - Satire
• Surveys of Concern to Same-Sex Couples

      Research Conducted by Partners Task Force       Research from Various Other Sources
• Resource Lists
• Your Host
“Whenever I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have always been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it: always.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“We don’t waste people the way white society does. Every person has their gift.” — Joe Medicine Crow, Crow Tribe
All contents © 2017, Demian
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