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Because of the wild burst of activity both for and against same-sex marriage that took place between 1996 and 2012, the national landscape is now quite checkered. Seven jurisdictions—Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and New York—grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples. Another five—Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, and Hawaii—recognize “civil unions,” which are identical to marriage in all but name. Moreover, four states (California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington) allow robust domestic partnerships. Overall, this means that same-sex couples have access to marriage or a marriage-like status in fifteen states and the District of Columbia.



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