The New York Senate’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage means that the state will become the biggest to allow such unions.
Five states grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire.
Rhode Island and New York, along with Maryland, recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey allow civil unions.
Other states provide some or all of the state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maine and Wisconsin.
California, of course, is the complicated one: In 2008, voters approved Prop 8, which says that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid there. That was challenged by lawsuits, but the state Supreme Court rejected them. Then a federal judge overturned Prop 8 in a separate case, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is considering that ruling. Same-sex couples that were married before Proposition 8 passed are still recognized as such, though new same-sex marriages aren’t permitted.