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What states is gay marriage legal in North Carolina?

Gay marriage has been a hot-button issue in North Carolina for years. However, as of now, same-sex couples can finally enjoy the legal protections and benefits that come with marriage in North Carolina, as well as in many other states around the country. In this blog post, we will discuss the states in which gay marriage is legal in North Carolina, as well as give a brief overview of the history of gay marriage in North Carolina.

A Brief History of Gay Marriage in North Carolina

Under the North Carolina Constitution, marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman. This language was tested in 2004, when North Carolina passed a ban on same-sex marriage. In April 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the 50 states by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

After this ruling, North Carolina joined several other states in legalizing gay marriage. As of now, there are a total of 22 states in which gay marriage is legal, including North Carolina.

States Where Gay Marriage is Legal in North Carolina

Below is a list of all the states where gay marriage is currently legal in North Carolina:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

It’s important to note that even though the states on this list have legalized gay marriage, it is still important to consult with a legal professional before getting married to ensure that all legal requirements have been met.


Gay marriage has been a long time coming in North Carolina. Finally, same-sex couples can enjoy the same legal protections and benefits that come with marriage as their heterosexual counterparts. While the fight for equal rights is not over, the recent legalization of gay marriage in North Carolina and many other states around the country is a positive step forward.


Can gays marry in NC?

Yes, same-sex couples can get married in North Carolina. In October 2014, the U.S. District Court issued a ruling in General Synod v. Cooper – a lawsuit filed by the United Church of Christ challenging North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage. The court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. This ruling made North Carolina the 27th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.

Following the court’s decision, same-sex couples could immediately apply for marriage licenses and enter into legally recognized marriages in North Carolina. The state was required to recognize same-sex marriages from other states as well.

Since then, same-sex couples in North Carolina have enjoyed the same legal rights and protections as opposite-sex couples in marriage. This includes access to spousal healthcare benefits, inheritance rights, and the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, among other benefits.

While North Carolina may have previously had a ban on same-sex marriage, it is now legal and accessible for all couples to marry, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

What cities in North Carolina are LGBT friendly?

North Carolina hasn’t always been known for being particularly LGBT-friendly, especially after the passage of the controversial HB2 law in 2016. However, there are a few cities in the state that are known as more accepting and welcoming towards the LGBTQ community.

One such city is Greensboro, which topped the list of LGBT-friendly cities in North Carolina according to the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. The city received a score of 92 out of 100, which is significantly higher than the statewide average. Greensboro beat out towns with strong progressive reputations, like Carrboro and Chapel Hill, which took second and third rankings on the list.

In Greensboro, there are a variety of resources available for the LGBTQ community, including LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs, advocacy organizations, and support groups. The city also hosts an annual Pride festival, which draws thousands of people every year.

Another city that is known for being LGBT-friendly is Asheville, which has a reputation for being a very progressive city overall. Asheville has a thriving LGBTQ community, with a number of local businesses run by and catering to the community. The city has also been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for its efforts to protect and support LGBTQ individuals.

Other cities in North Carolina that have made strides towards being more LGBT-friendly include Durham and Charlotte. In Durham, there are a number of community organizations that work to support LGBTQ individuals, including the Durham LGBT Center and the LGBTQ Center of Durham. Charlotte, while not always known for being progressive, has made efforts in recent years to become more inclusive, with the city council passing a non-discrimination ordinance in 2017.

While North Carolina may not be known for being the most welcoming state for LGBTQ individuals, there are a number of cities within the state that are making efforts to change that. Whether it’s through advocacy organizations, community events, or local businesses, these cities are working to create more inclusive and accepting environments for members of the LGBTQ community.

Is North Carolina common law marriage?

In the United States, common law marriage refers to a type of legal relationship between two individuals who have not gone through a formal or traditional wedding ceremony but have lived together for a certain period of time and have presented themselves as a married couple. Though there is no marriage certificate or official documentation, they will be considered legally married in some states. However, North Carolina is not one of these states.

North Carolina is one of the few states that do not recognize common law marriages. In other words, even if two individuals have lived together as a married couple for a certain number of years and have presented themselves as such, they will not be considered legally married in North Carolina. Thus, couples who want to tie the knot in North Carolina must go through the traditional marriage process, which includes obtaining a state-issued marriage license, having the ceremony performed by a registered officiant, and registering the marriage with the appropriate government authorities.

There are a few reasons why North Carolina and some other states do not recognize common law marriage. One of the primary reasons is to protect the legal rights and interests of both parties in a relationship. For instance, by requiring a formal legal process to enter into a marriage, the state can ensure that both parties have equal rights and access to legal protections, such as spousal support, property division, and inheritance rights.

Furthermore, North Carolina’s laws and regulations related to marriage and family have a strict interpretation and are based on a traditional definition of marriage. For instance, state law prohibits same-sex marriages, even after the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Additionally, the state’s family laws and regulations reflect a highly conservative and religious perspective.

While common law marriage is recognized in some states in the U.S., North Carolina is not one of those states. For a couple to be legally married in North Carolina, they must go through the traditional marriage process, including obtaining a marriage license, having a ceremony, and registering the marriage with the appropriate government authorities. It is important to be aware of state-specific laws and regulations related to marriage to ensure that one’s legal rights and interests are protected.