In stories about gay marriage in the United States, we usually include the number of states where gay marriage is allowed. Settling on that that number can be complicated, though, since the situation in some states is in flux.
In Colorado, for instance, gay marriages are going forward in some jurisdictions. But the legality of gay marriage in the state remains tied up in appeals.
So what number do we use when we need a quick, short answer?
Our approach is not to count a state as allowing gay marriage until all appeals have been exhausted and/or state leaders have committed to dropping appeals.
By that standard, we don’t count Colorado. As of now, our count is that same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
These are the states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania.