Contact: Elizabeth Coplan
University of Washington School of Law


Recent Same-Sex Legislative Activity Results in 2nd Edition of The Geography of Love

SEATTLE – Since The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps) was first released by Seattle-based authors Peter Nicolas (University of Washington School of Law) & Mike Strong in February 2011, New York legalized same-sex marriage, which dramatically increased the percentage of people who now live in a state that permits same sex couples to marry. Delaware, Rhode Island and Hawaii expanded same sex relationship recognition rights by enacting civil unions. Meanwhile the Wyoming Supreme Court held that it would recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, and several other states enacted laws providing for recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships.

This updated edition of Geography of Love provides detailed information on how couples can marry in states that permit same-sex marriage, answering such questions as: What is the fee? Is there a waiting period, a residency requirement, or a blood test requirement? What is the minimum age to marry? What are the effects if the couple returns to their home state or decides to move?

As in the first edition, Nicolas and Strong combined their respective training in law and cartography to “map out” the current political climate in the U.S. regarding same-sex marriage. The history and current climate details in the book offer background and context for those contemplating grass roots efforts around same sex marriage and relationship recognition including:

  • selected vote details on ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage, by state and county;
  • a closer look at where support for such efforts was weakest and strongest; and
  • a comparison of the processes for amending state constitutions across the United States (including Minnesota and North Carolina, which are voting on constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in 2012).

Co-author Peter Nicolas says, “With a little work, major in-roads can be made to advance the rights of same sex couples, especially in areas where votes to ban same-sex marriages had the least support and where support for gay rights has been demonstrated at the local level through domestic partnership and equal benefit ordinances.”

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