All states in the South now prohibit same-sex marriage. (Human Rights Campaign)
All states in the South now prohibit same-sex marriage. (Human Rights Campaign)

INSTITUTE INDEX: The South's long resistance to marriage equality (updated)

All states in the South now prohibit same-sex marriage. (Human Rights Campaign)
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(Editor's note: Shortly after this index was published, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) announced that she had changed her position and no longer opposed civil marriage for same-sex couples. The change is reflected below.)

Number of cases the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing this week challenging laws that deny marriage equality to same-sex couples: 2

Date on which Congress overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), authored by former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), defining marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman -- one of the laws being challenged along with California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in that state: 9/10/1996

Date on which President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law, at 12:50 a.m., without any ceremony or cameras present: 9/21/1996

Under federal law, number of benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status and thus unavailable to same-sex couples under DOMA: 1,138

Date on which President Clinton said in a Washington Post op-ed that he has come to believe DOMA is contrary to the American principles of freedom, equality and justice and is, "in fact, incompatible with our Constitution": 3/7/2013

Number of U.S. Senators who last month signed onto a friend of the court brief supporting DOMA: 10

Number of those senators who represent states in the South: 6*

Number of U.S. Senators who this month signed onto a friend of the court brief opposing DOMA: 40

Number of those senators who represent states in the South: 2**

Of the 10 Democratic senators who still oppose marriage equality or are unclear about their stance, number who represent states in the South: 5 4***

Number of states, including the District of Columbia, that grant at least some legal rights to same-sex couples: 19

Of those states, number that are in the South: 0

Number of states that do not constitutionally or statutorily prohibit same-sex marriage: 12

Of those states, number that are in the South: 0

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Loving v. Virginia decision striking down bans on interracial marriage on June 12, 1967, percent of the 13 Southern states that still outlawed what they called "miscegenation": 100

* Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
** Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats from Virginia.
*** Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

(Click on figure to go to source. For a larger, interactive version of the map, click here.)

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