Massachusetts was the first state to allow same-sex marriage, and in the years since that 2003 decision, five additional states have legalized gay marriage. As of September 2009, gay people can be legally married in six states.
In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided in favor of legalized same-sex marriage, and on May 17, 2004, the law went into effect.
On October 10, 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, making it the second state to legalize gay marriage.
The Iowa Supreme Court made history on April 3, 2009, with its unanimous ruling on gay marriage, making Iowa the third state to legalize same-sex marriage.
On April 7, 2009, the Vermont state legislature overrode Governor Jim Douglas’s veto of a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry. Vermont became the first state to allow gay marriage through legislative action.
On May 6, 2009, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill authorizing marriage between any two people rather than between one man and one woman, making Maine the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage.
On June 3, 2009, New Hampshire became the sixth state to authorize gay marriage. The New Hampshire law also recognizes out-of-state gay marriages and civil unions.