Gay Marriage States: Connecticut Is Best, New Hampshire Is Worst and New York City Is Cheapest

Same-sex couples who travel to a gay-marriage state should choose Connecticut and avoid New Hampshire. New York City has the lowest cost, Minnesota makes you wait the longest, and only California lets couples keep their marriage a secret.

Same-sex couples who live in one of the 35 states that prohibit gay marriages must travel to a different state to get married. For those who have to travel, Connecticut is the best overall gay-marriage state, and New Hampshire should be avoided altogether. That's the advice from Steve McDonnell, the author of a new book, Tying the Gay Knot: Where and How Same-Sex Couples Can Get Married ( . The book summarizes the marriage laws and regulations for each of the 15 jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal: California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. It's available in Kindle format on

"Each state has different requirements for getting a marriage license," notes McDonnell. "Overall, Connecticut is our first choice because there's no waiting period, no witnesses are required, the license is good for 65 days and it only costs about $40 for the license and a certified copy of the marriage certificate," he says. The author cautions nonresidents about getting married in New Hampshire. "New Hampshire law says that if you go to New Hampshire to get married, and your marriage would not be valid in the state in which you live, then your marriage is null and void in New Hampshire, too," says McDonnell. Since all six New England states permit same-sex marriages, he advises same-sex couples who don't live in New Hampshire to choose a different state for their wedding.

Other observations the author makes about gay marriage states:

§ The least expensive place to get a marriage license and certificate is New York City. It costs $35 for a license and certificate, and a civil service ceremony only adds another $25. However, you'll need to wait 24 hours after you get your license before you can get married. Other cities and towns in New York only charge about $5 more for a license and certificate.

§ Couples who are in a hurry won't want to choose Washington, DC or Minnesota. Although Washington, DC has a three-day waiting period, the day a couple applies for a license and the day they pick it up don't count toward the three days. Minnesota has a five-day waiting period.

§ If a couple gets cold feet, they might want to plan their marriage in Iowa or Washington, DC. A marriage license never expires in either jurisdiction.

§ Couples who want to keep their marriage a secret will need to travel to California, where they can get a confidential marriage license that requires a court order for anyone other than the two spouses to get a copy.

The full text of the author's article ( is available on

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