Same-Sex Marriage is Legal in 12 States

NOTE TO READERS: This article addresses the legal situation before the Supreme Court's June, 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

In the first two weeks of May, the legislatures in Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota voted to legalize gay marriage. Same-sex weddings may begin taking place in Delaware on July 1, 2013 and in Minnesota and Rhode Island on August 1, 2013.

With that, gay marriage is now legal in 12 U.S. states – Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – plus the District of Columbia.

And with polls showing that a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, other states are likely to follow suit. It appears that a vote on a marriage equality bill will take place in Illinois by the end of this month. The measure, SB10, has passed in the Illinois Senate. If it passes in the House, it will go to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn who has already promised to sign it. In 2014, Oregonians may be voting on whether or not to overturn a 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.