Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in One-Third of U.S. States

(UPDATED) Utah and New Mexico follow in recent footsteps of Hawaii and Illinois, but via judges not lawmakers.

Update (Dec. 20): Today a judge struck down Utah's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. If the ruling stands, Utah would become the 18th state to permit gays and lesbians to wed.

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Shelby says the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way, and the state's unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify deny allowing same-sex marriages.

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Update (Dec. 19): New Mexico has become the 17th state (plus D.C.) to legalize same-sex marriage, after the state's supreme court ruled today that denying marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional.

The Washington Post notes:

Many counties in New Mexico had already ...
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