This week's flurry of court rulings made it a little tricky to keep track of which states allow gay marriage. The upshot is that the Supreme Court's moves added seven more states to the yes column: Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, bringing the total number of states that allow same-sex marriage to 26, reports the New York Times. (That doesn't include DC, which also allows them.) But things gets a little complicated because more states were affected by the rulings, those that happened to be in the same federal circuits as other states that appealed. The Times' take: "The legal ripple effects from the various appeals court rulings the Supreme Court tacitly sustained should soon raise that number to 35." Reuters, too, goes with that number, reporting that legal weddings for gay couples could soon be "extended to 35 states." AP, meanwhile, settles for an answer of "about 30, give or take."
It will take a little time for those "legal ripple effects" to play out. In North Carolina, for instance, a federal district judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage yesterday, and couples immediately started getting married, reports AP in a separate story. North Carolina is in the same district covered by Virginia, and when the Supreme Court decided this week that it wouldn't hear an appeal of a ruling that struck down Virginia's ban as unconstitutional, that paved the way for yesterday's ruling in Raleigh. "Even before this I was happy, but I think now that it's on paper and it's legal—it's a commitment between two people," says a male sheriff's deputy in Wake County who wed a fellow male deputy. (More gay marriage stories.)