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A timeline of same-sex marriage in the US

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As of  
States performing same-sex marriages:
States allowing civil unions or domestic partnerships:
States with constitutional bans on same-sex marriage:

Same-sex marriage is a widely used term now. But in the early 1970s, there were zero states banning or allowing same-sex marriage, and no states offered civil unions or domestic partnerships. Massachusetts' role in bringing same-sex marriage to the US was part of a much bigger effort:

What's next?

NOTE: Map represents when same-sex marriage and civil union laws take effect, not when they are approved or announced. Though the timeline refers to bans by state statute and constitutional amendment, the map of same-sex marriage bans only includes constitutional amendments and not state statutes.

SOURCES: New York Times, Associated Press, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, State of Delaware, State of New Jersey Department of Health, State of Hawaii Department of Health, Washington State Legislature, State of Illinois, state statutes

In the 10 years since the first same-sex weddings in Massachusetts, several states and the District of Columbia have followed suit, allowing gay marriage, while 27 states amended their constitutions to ban such marriages. Massachusetts played a part in a much bigger effort bringing same-sex marriage to the US.

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Select a state for news and history about gay marriage in that state.

Patrick Garvin/Globe Staff

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