And New Mexico makes 17. The state's supreme court on Thursday affirmed the right to same-sex marriage, handing gay-rights advocates another statewide victory. In its decision, the court ruled that prohibiting same-sex couples from receiving the benefits of marriage “violates the Equal Protection Clause” of the state’s constitution. Other states that have affirmed the right to gay marriage this year include Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, granting federal benefits to couples whose marriages are recognized by their state.