U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments: Gay marriage by the numbers

The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing two days of arguments Tuesday in cases involving gay marriage. A look at the gay marriage issue by the numbers:

-- About 9 million: The number of Americans who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to a 2011 study by a scholar at the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute.

-- 9 plus the District of Columbia: The number of states that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The states are Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington.

-- 30: The number of states, including California, that ban same-sex marriage in their state constitutions. Ten states bar them under state laws. New Mexico law is silent on the issue.

-- Almost 9: The number of years gay couples have been marrying in Massachusetts, the first state to allow same-sex couples to wed. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November 2003 that it was unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marrying in the state. The court allowed weddings to start May 17, 2004.

-- 49: The percentage of Americans who now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in mid-March. Forty-four percent are opposed.

-- 142: The number of days in 2008 that gay marriage was legal in California before voters banned it with Proposition 8.

-- About 18,000: The number of gay couples that married in California during the window when it was legal.

-- 9: The number of justices on the Supreme Court. Six of the justices are married, all of them to people of the opposite sex. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a widow, Justice Sonia Sotomayor is divorced and Justice Elena Kagan has never married.

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