A U.S. federal judge has overturned the state of Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage.
Tuesday's decision makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S. northeast, a region that tends to lean liberal.
Pennsylvania is now the 19th U.S. state to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The northwestern state of Oregon became number 18 Monday when a federal judge struck down its voter-approved gay marriage ban.
Judges have been toppling these state bans across the United States since a landmark ruling last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act — a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It had barred same-sex couples from receiving federal tax, health and pension benefits.
And it is not just the laws that are changing. Recent public opinion polling shows Americans' support for gay marriage has more than doubled over the past 20 years.
Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.