Marriage Update - April 5, 1996

April 05, 1996

Georgia Governor Zell Miller made his state the fourth in the nation to explicitly prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying. Miller signed into law a bill similar to ones passed this year in Utah and Idaho prohibiting same-gender marriage. South Dakota put their anti-marriage law on the books during the 1995 legislative year.

Currently, same-gender marriage is not legal anywhere in the United States. The Georgia bill, and measures like it, have been introduced throughout the country this year by anti-gay legislators. Right wing groups, in anticipation of the possible legalization of same-gender marriage in Hawaii sometime next year, have launched an all out assault on the right to marry.

In other recent marriage legislation developments, Kentucky activists were victorious in having an anti-marriage amendment withdrawn from an unrelated bill. In Delaware, a measure was introduced banning both same-gender marriages in the state and recognition of legal, same-gender marriages from other states.

According to NGLTF, with information provided by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and grassroots activists across the country, 15 states currently face legislation intended to ban same-gender marriage. Those states are AL, AK, AZ, CA, DE, FL, HI, IL, KS, MI, MO, OK, SC, TN, and WI. Anti-marriage measures in twelve other states have been withdrawn or defeated. Along with KY, they are CO, IA, MD, ME, MS, NM, RI, VA, WA, WV, and WY.

Activists interested in obtaining a copy of the map (free) or NGLTF's marriage organizing manual, To Have and To Hold ($10), should contact Tracey Conaty at the number listed above. Those interested in obtaining talking points on same-gender marriage and other materials should contact Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund at (212) 995-8585.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a progressive organization that has supported grassroots organizing and pioneered in national advocacy since 1973. Since its inception, NGLTF has been at the forefront of virtually every major initiative for lesbian and gay rights. In all its efforts, NGLTF helps to strengthen the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement at the state level while connecting these activities to a national vision for change.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.