For those in Colorado, understanding exactly what is legal and what is not when it comes to same-sex marriage is something that can get more complicated than it would be in other states. Research has been released to show on which side of this issue the states fall at this time, though shifting laws could cause changes to this in the coming months or years.
There are currently 19 different states in which gay marriage is legal. These states are California, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Vermont. On top of that, same-sex marriage is also legal in Washington D.C.
On the other side of the issue, 28 different states have decreed that same-sex marriage is actually illegal.
Where the lines change a bit is in Colorado, Wisconsin and Nevada. These three states do have provisions in place to work with these couples, giving them the chance to enter into either domestic partnerships or civil unions. While not the same as allowing marriage, this is also not the same as banning it outright.
Same-sex couples in Colorado who are thinking about their legal options in the state need to make sure that they fully understand the differences and similarities from state to state. They also need to keep an eye on how things could chance in the future, as their rights to marriage, a domestic partnership or a civil union could have a large impact on their rights when it comes to things like child custody rights and property division.
Source: Pew Research, “Same-Sex Marriage State-by-State” No author given, May. 21, 2014