Keeping track of the legal status of same-sex marriage across the country can be difficult. Some states, such as California, have changed their laws two or three times. Legislators in Washington state and Maryland recently voted to legalize gay marriage, but both states will give voters a chance to affirm or reverse the decisions in the upcoming elections. Voters in two other states – Maine and Minnesota – also will weigh in on the issue this November. Maine voters will decide whether to affirm or overturn a 2009 referendum in which they voted to ban same-sex marriage; previously, Maine’s legislature had voted to legalize gay marriage, but this was overturned by the 2009 referendum. Voters in Minnesota will have the opportunity to place a ban on gay marriage into the state’s constitution.

For background, see the Pew Forum’s July 2009 overview of the issue, “A Contentious Debate: Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.