in how many states was gay marriage legal before the SCOTUS decision on friday

When I looked it up as the decision came down yesterday, I thought gay marriage was already legal in about 40 states. The remaining 10 were mostly southern states with many engaging in legislation to uphold their bans which were being challenged in the judicial system.

So in how many states was gay marriage already legal before the supreme court legalized it nationwide? I remember it being close to 40, making the decision mostly ideological but I forget the exact number.

37, plus DC. However, many of those were by federal court decision so if SCOTUS had gone the other way, we could likely have been down to around 11.


Wow, so if the supreme court had gone the other way only 11 states would have legal gay marriage?

Does that mean all situations where the federal circuit court and state supreme courts legalized gay marriage they would all be overturned and only states where gay marriage was legalized in the legislative system it would remain legal?

Federal court decisions mandating SSM would have been overturned, but state court decisions doing so might not have been, if based on an interpretation of state law that was narrower than federal law.

As Tom said, the federal court ones would have been overturned. (Only if based on the 14th amendment though? I’m not enough of a legal scholar to be sure) The state ones were based on state constitutions and not federal so they wouldn’t be affected to my knowledge.

Even if Obergefell had gone the other way, 19 states plus the District of Columbia would still have had SSM, going by this Wikipedia table.