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Even after Hawaii's million-plus residents joined the ranks of those legally allowed to enter into same-sex marriage on Wednesday, more Americans live in states with bans on the practice.

At every point from 1973 to the present, in fact, the number of Americans living in states that restrict same-sex partnerships has consistently outnumbered that don't. Even now, after a banner year for the movement, some 134 million Americans live in states that allow civil unions or same-sex marriage, including big states like California, Illinois, and New York. But 173 million live in states that legally bar the practice.

Here, in one GIF, is how those trends have fluctuated over time.

To get this data, we looked at how state laws on gay relationships have evolved and changed over time to allow residents to enter into civil unions or same-sex marriages — or to outlaw the practice or ban it completely in a state constitution. Regardless of the imbalance, the trend is clear, as the graph below shows. More Americans than ever before have the right to enter into a recognized gay relationship, once you take into consideration the populations of each state.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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