Photo Essay

  • Utah, 2013: Heather Collins and Jax Collins wait in line with hundreds of other applicants for a marriage license at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 23, 2013.
  • New Mexico, 2013: Carl Smith, of Las Cruces, N.M., holds up a sign in support of same-sex marriage during a rally to celebrate New Mexico Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. The state’s highest court declared it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
  • Illinois, 2013: Holding their Illinois marriage license, Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert smile at friends after they were married in Chicago, Nov. 27, 2013. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin ordered the Cook County clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to Gray and Ewert because Gray is terminally ill.
  • Hawaii, 2013: Tambry Young and Debrah Zeleznik celebrate after the Hawaii State Senate approved a bill allowing same-sex marriage to be legal in Honolulu, November 12, 2013.
  • New Jersey, 2013: Jenelle Torres (C) embraces spouse Lydia Torres after being wed by Newark Mayor Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey October 21, 2013.
  • Minnesota, 2013: Margaret Mile, left, holds onto her partner Cathy ten Broekes’ hand, right, shortly before their wedding ceremony  in Minneapolis, July 31, 2013. The two were the first women legally married in Minnesota. 
  • Rhode Island, 2013: Zachary Marcus, left, and Gary McDowell, right, receive rings during their marriage ceremony at City Hall in Providence, Aug. 1, 2013. 
  • Delaware, 2013: Gay marriage supporters rally at the City County building in Wilmington, Delaware, July 1, 2013. This was the first day that gays may legally wed under the state’s new gay marriage law.
  • California, 2013: Todd Saunders and U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak, partners of ten years, look at their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. 
  • Maryland, 2013: Darcia Anthony, left, and Danielle Williams react after participating in a wedding ceremony at City Hall in Baltimore, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Maine, 2012: Gay marriage supporters rally in downtown Portland, Maine, in a final campaign push before a vote on a same-sex marriage, Nov. 1, 2012. 
  • Washington, 2012: Corianton Hale, right, helps partner Keith Bacon get ready for their wedding at Seattle City Hall, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed in the state of Washington, Dec. 9, 2012.
  • New York, 2011: Nirvana Galvez, left, hugs Ruth Galvez on a cruise hosted by Marriage Equality New York in New York, Sunday, July 24, 2011. The couple are domestic partners where they live in California, but flew to New York to get married on the first day it became legal in the state.
  • New Hampshire, 2010: Rep. Tara Sad casts her vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman at the State House in Concord, N.H. Opponents of gay marriage asked the House to repeal New Hampshire’s six-week-old law legalizing the unions. 
  • District of Columbia, 2009: Rick Imirowicz and Terrance Health hold hands during their wedding ceremony on the first day same-sex couples are legal to wed under a new law in D.C, March 9, 2010.
  • Vermont, 2009: Beth Robinson smiles after officiating the wedding of Claire Williams and Cori Giroux just after midnight in South Burlington, Vt., Sept. 1, 2009.
  • Iowa, 2009: Jodie Vandermark-Martinez places a ring on the finger of her partner during a wedding ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, April 27, 2009.
  • Connecticut, 2008: Jody Mock and Beth Kerrigan take questions from the media outside the West Hartford Town Hall after receiving their marriage license Nov. 12, 2008.
  • Massachussets, 2004: Jon Goode and Cary Raymond cheer after Justice of the Peace Claire Watts married them outside the Provincetown, Massachusetts Town Hall, May 17, 2004. 
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2013: Marriage equality was contagious

Updated

From legislative wins to judicial victories, 2013 has been a banner year for gay rights.

Before this year, gay marriage was legal in eight states and the District of Columbia. Now, as 2013 draws to a close, 10 additional states have opened the door to marriage equality.

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, which barred the federal government from recognizing married gay couples’ rights. The high court also cleared the way for gay marriage to resume in California, by ruling on the state’s gay marriage ban known as Proposition 8.

Here are scenes from the states.