According to the Human Rights Campaign, 29 states have constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman. An additional 12 states have similar state laws. In two of those 12—North Carolina and Minnesota—constitutional amendments barring gay marriage will be voted on in 2012.

But the tide may be turning: Six states and the District of Columbia now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and nine states provide the equivalent of spousal rights through laws recognizing civil unions or domestic partnerships.

In early November, the Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to debate repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage. All of the committee’s Democrats reportedly support repeal legislation.