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What's happening with gay marriage nationally

On Tuesday, the Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging the state's ban on gay marriage. Laws on gay marriage vary from state to state:

-Massacusetts is the only state where gay marriage is legal. The state's Supreme Judicial Court legalized it in 2003; the court will hear arguments this year on a challenge to a 1913 state law that bars out-of-state gay couples from getting married there.

-In addition to Washington state, legal challenges by same-sex couples seeking the right to marry are pending in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Oregon.

-Voters in thirteen states passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage last year: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

-Four states already had gay marriage bans in their constitutions: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada.

-The following states have laws on the books (but not in their constitutions) prohibiting gay marriage: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

-Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming have no laws explicitly banning gay marriage.

-Vermont bans gay marriage but legalized same-sex civil unions in 2001.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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