In this Aug. 4, 2010 file photo, same-sex marriage supporters gather outside a federal building and wait for a judge's decision overturning California's same-sex marriage ban in San Francisco. On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will begin hearing two days of cases involving gay marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin 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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