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Marriage Equality By the Numbers

Here's Friday's history-making Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision by the numbers. (Spoiler: One of them is the $2.6B spending boost estimated to come from all states allowing same-sex marriage.)


13: States newly gaining marriage equality: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Sixth Circuit: ruling upholding marriage bans reversed.

28: pages in the majority opinion, written by Kennedy.

4: Separate dissenting opinions—totaling 64 pages. Chief Justice Roberts read his from the bench, his first time doing so during his time on the court, writes Reuters.

14th Amendment: "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry," ruled the Supreme Court today.


$2.6B: The total estimated economic boost created across the US by allowing marriage for same-sex couples in all states, according to the Williams Institute.

$100MEstimated positive economic impact Massachusetts experienced in the five years after becoming the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

30: Petitioners in the case, made up of 14 same-sex couples and two men whose partners had passed away. The latter includes James Obergefell. In order to get married, he traveled to Maryland from Ohio with his partner of 20 years, John Arthur, just three months before Arthur died.


73: Amicus briefs filed in Obergefell by supporters of marriage equality.

1 million: The estimated number of individuals to whom the Supreme Court today opened the right to marry, according to the Williams Institute.

390,000: The number of married same-sex couples in the US, which has tripled since 2013.

122,000: The estimated number of same-sex couples raising 210,000 children under age 18, according to the Williams Institute. Levenfeld Pearlstein partner Lauren Wolven says "same sex couples who have children will need to consider going through the re-adoption process to ensure that both parents have legal parenting rights with regard to education, healthcare, property, and other instances where power of attorney may be required.


1967: The Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. VA that a ban on interracial marriage violates both the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause, which was referenced in Obergefell.

1986: The first time the Supreme Court "gave detailed consideration to the legal status of homosexuals," as written in Obergefell. In Bowers v. Hardwick, the Court "upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia law deemed to criminalize certain homosexual acts."

1996: When Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.

June 26: The date of the landmark Obergefell decision marking marriage equality a constitutional right, as well as key SCOTUS rulings leading up to it. On June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas to overturn Bowers v. Hardwick. On the same date in 2013, the Supreme Court ruled a key provision of DOMA unconstitutional in US v. Windsor, and overturned Prop 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry.

21: Countries in the world allowing same-sex marriage, according to Pew Research Center.

50: Number of US states where same-sex marriage is now legal.