Marriage equality is happening in this country. Currently, lesbian and gay couples are entitled to all the state-level rights and benefits of marriage in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. In addition, lesbian and gay couples in New Jersey are able to enter into state-level civil unions, and there are broad domestic partnership laws in California, Oregon and the District of Columbia. In New York, after a 2008 court ruling and a directive subsequently issued by Governor David Paterson, valid out-of-state marriages by lesbian and gay couples must be legally recognized. Other states are taking hopeful steps toward marriage, and there are efforts to remove legal obstacles preventing lesbian and gay couples from receiving rights and responsibilities under federal law.
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