Three states, Maryland, Maine, and Washington, asked voters to decide on allowing same-sex couples the right to marry, and voters said “yes,” seemingly in all three.
Maine: 54% – 46%
Maryland: 52% – 48%
Washington*: 52% – 48%
Washington state’s website shows all votes counted and a win, but that is unconfirmed at this time, although The Four is also calling it a win.
One state, Minnesota, asked voters to approve a ballot initiative than writes discrimination into the state constitution, banning forever the right to marry for same-sex couples. As of this writing, with 65.7% reporting, the ban is passing by 0.2%, or less than 5000 votes in one report, and another has it tied with 500 votes separating. Certainly too close to call.
That voters in three states would elect to support same-sex marriage is historic, and removes a top talking point for the anti-gay right, that no states have ever voted for same-sex marriage. Now, in one fell swoop, three states have destroyed that plank.
For Maine, this was an especially important victory. The legislature in 2009 passed marriage equality and it was signed into law, but voters overturned it at the polls. Three years later, they changed their minds.
In Washington, the legislature passed a law and it was signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire, but voters were able to get it on the ballot, only to lose.
“Today, a majority in Maine voted in favor of loving and committed same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry,” said Freedom to Marry National Campaign Director Marc Solomon. “Now the commitment gay and lesbian couples have made in life will be respected equally under the law, celebrated before their loved ones, and called what it is: marriage.”
“It’s hard to overstate the national significance of this vote,” Solomon added. “For years, our opponents have argued that we could not win a majority vote at the ballot. Today, Maine voters proved them wrong, standing up for the Golden Rule and for freedom for all Mainers.”
“Maryland’s voters agreed with their lawmakers, governor, and a majority of Americans nationwide: same-sex couples should not be denied the chance to make the ultimate commitment because of whom they love,” said Shawn Werner, director of political operations at Freedom to Marry and an adviser to the Maryland campaign. “We look forward to all the marriages we’ll celebrate in 2013, even as we turn our momentum into more victories across the country.”
“The tide has turned – when voters have the opportunity to really hear directly from loving, committed same-sex couples and their families, they voted for fairness and the freedom to marry,” Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign said of all three wins in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. “How fitting that four years after Prop. 8 awakened the nation, and the world, to the injustice of marriage for some but not for all committed couples, we have now won at the ballot box. The Supreme Court can see that America is continuing its historic march towards equality and justice for all. Those who oppose the freedom to marry for committed couples are clearly on the wrong side of history. More and more voters are coming to know that gay people are our neighbors, our co-workers, our fellow parishioners, our family and our friends. It won’t be long at all before all loving committed couples have the freedom to marry.”
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