With Illinois joining the ranks on November 20, 16 states in the union now allow same-sex marriage. Curious as to how same-sex marriage has taken hold in the states? This GIF, courtesy of Reddit user Sen_Mendoza, shows the progression of laws banning or legalizing same-sex marriage in the states since 1973.
As it stands, far more states have bans against gay marriage than those that allow it. Even with the uptick in states legalizing same-sex marriage in recent years, the majority of U.S. states still hold onto constitutional or statuary bans. The mid-2000s saw a surge in states enacting constitutional bans, a few years before legalization began to take hold.
Is momentum in favor of legalization? Back in March, Nate Silver ran the data and found support for same-sex marriage steadily increasing since 2005, despite the increase in laws banning it. Based on trends, Silver predicts national support will increase by 1.5 percentage points each year, hitting 60% by 2020. That’s in contrast with certain individual states, like Alabama and Mississippi, however, which will still have below 50% approval by the end of the decade. Which means a national legalization of same-sex marriage is more likely than a continuation of the piece-meal approach thus far. So there will be no “last hold out” state. Rather, a number of states will likely fall under a national law all at once.
Still, considering this GIF goes back 30 years, it’s a little disheartening that we’re having this conversation at all. Hopefully it’s not too long before the states at the top of this GIF outnumber the ones at the bottom.