Tuesday, October 22, 2013

33% Of U.S. Population (100+ Million People) Living With Marriage Equality

One decade ago there were exactly zero states that had marriage equality, even though the Defense of Marriage Act had been federal law for seven years. In November 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state constitution required equal marriage rights for same-sex couples under the law and issued an order to go in effect on May 17, 2004. Note that the second state, Connecticut did not have marriage equality until November 2008 (and for a brief 173 days starting in June 2008 Californians had access to same-sex marriage prior to the passage of Proposition 8). So, really in a little over 5 years marriage equality has increased from roughly 10 million to another order of magnitude.

With New Jersey becoming the 14th state to enact marriage equality this week there are now well over 100 million people who live in states with marriage equality, about 33% of the entire U.S. population.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) summaries the astonishingly rapid progress:

StateDate EffectivePopulationPercent
MassachusettsMay 20046,547,6292.12%
ConnecticutNov. 20083,574,0971.16%
IowaApr. 20093,046,3550.99%
VermontJun. 2009625,7410.20%
New HampshireJan. 20101,316,4700.43%
Washington, D.C.Mar. 2010601,7230.19%
New YorkJun. 201119,378,3616.28%
WashingtonDec. 20126,724,5402.18%
MaineDec. 20121,328,3610.43%
MarylandJan. 20135,773,5521.87%
DelawareJun. 2013897,9340.29%
CaliforniaJun. 201337,253,95612.07%
MinnesotaAug. 20135,303,9251.72%
Rhode IslandAug. 20131,052,5670.34%
New JerseyOct. 20138,791,8942.84%




Any predictions for when the United States will hit 50%? Remember Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico and Oregon are widely expected to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples sooner rather than later.

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