All states recognize married couples as a protected category under civil domestic violence laws. Other protected categories, including unmarried cohabitants, are also afforded protection under such laws. Despite a Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages, many states still have statues prohibiting the recognition of same-sex relationships.
This issue brief examines how a state’s approach to recognizing the marital status of same-sex couples may impact or implicate the applicability of domestic violence statutes to unmarried victims in same-sex relationships. Included is a fact sheet examining laws regarding domestic violence and same-sex relationships in each state.