For more than 165 million Americans — more than half the US population — Same-Sex Marriage Equality is now very real.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to decline hearing a series of appeals cases on same-sex marriage will have the effect of immediately legalizing gay marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. When combined with the 19 states (and the District of Columbia) that had previously legalized same-sex marriage, these states have a collective population of roughly 165 million, according to 2013 census figures.
For the first time, same-sex marriage is legal for the majority of the U.S. population. The 26 states where the practice is not legal have a total population of about 151 million.
The Supreme Court’s decision will also lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Those states have an additional 25 million people combined. When these states follow suit because they fall under federal circuit courts that have ruled same-sex marriage restrictions unconstitutional, 30 states and the District of Columbia — totaling about 60 percent of the U.S. population — will allow same-sex marriage.
Two years ago at this time, same-sex marriage was legal only in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District, which together have about 11 percent of the U.S. population.
Progress marches onward.