Watch America's Stunning Evolution On Gay Marriage, In One GIF

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.


Source: Reddit 

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.

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Benjamin Cosman

Ben graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Political Science. He recently traveled through New England looking for pie. His second-favorite pastime is googling pictures of politicians laughing.

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