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Medical Decision-Making Policies

United States Map
Law explicitly gives same-sex couples equal or substantially equivalent standing to other family members (20 states + D.C.)
Law offers limited recognition of same-sex partners through broad language (13 states)
Same-sex couples treated as legal strangers (17 states)
NOTE: In the absence of powers of attorney or a medical directive, states may designate the person who can make medical decisions for a patient who is incapacitated. For additional information, contact Family Equality Council, Human Rights Campaign, or American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Laws’ recognition of same-sex couples can impact bisexual and transgender people in same-sex relationships.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

46% of LGBT population lives in states with inclusive medical-decision making laws 19% of LGBT population lives in states with limited recognition of same-sex couples 34% of LGBT population lives in states where same-sex couples are treated like legal strangers
Positive Law

No law

State Law Inclusive of Same-Sex Couples Limited Recognition Legal Strangers
Total 20 states + D.C. 13 states 17 states
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


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Data current as of 04/17/2014