UCLA’s pro-gay Williams Institute think tank reports today that with the addition of Minnesota to the ranks of states that have legalized same-sex marriage, more than a fifth, or 22 percent, of gays and lesbians now live in states where they can marry.
That’s up from five percent just three years ago. Six months after voters defeated an initiative to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota, the state became the third in May alone to permit such marriages, joining Rhode Island and Delaware. Thirteen states, counting the District of Columbia, now permit same-sex marriage. Others are Washington, Maryland and Maine voters approved same-sex marriage in November. The District of Columbia and the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
If Illinois and California join that train, the percentage of gays and lesbians who could marry in their states would leap to 41 percent, the report said.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on California’s Prop. 8 at the end of June. The court is expected to rule on narrow grounds, possibly upholding lower court decisions that ruled the initiative unconstitutional. That would in effect legalize same-sex marriage in California.
Illinois is considering legislation, SB10, to legalize same-sex marriage. It has passed the House and is under consideration in the state Senate. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn said he would sign it.
The National Organization for Marriage, which proposed the Minnesota ban, announced Tuesday it would sue the Internal Revenue Service, now in very hot water for targeting Tea Party groups for added scrutiny. NOM alleges that the agency leaked its tax documents to the Human Rights Campaign.