5 victories for gay rights and same-sex marriage

by Emily Senger

Not only did Americans elect the first openly gay Senator Tuesday, (congratulations Wisconsin candidate Tammy Baldwin) four states also moved closer to legalizing same-sex marriage in what is being viewed as a huge step forward for gay rights.

It’s a historic moment, notes The Atlantic, and marks the first time same-sex marriage has won on a U.S. ballot question.

“The results in Maine and Maryland broke a 32-state streak, dating to 1998, in which gay marriage had been rebuffed by every state that voted on it,” writes The Associated Press.

Here’s how it went down:

Maine
Fifty-three per cent of voters chose “yes” to legalize same-sex marriage and 47 per cent said “no,” says The Huffington Post. The decision marks a victory for gay and lesbian couples in the state, where the legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage in 2006 and voters overturned it in 2009. Same-sex couples in Maine should be able to get marriage licences by December.

Maryland
A referendum to approve same-sex marriage narrowly passed, with 51.9 per cent of voters approving same-sex marriage. “It was a little bit pins and needles,” Human Rights Campaign’s Kevin Nix told CNN. “It was going to be a close call all along.” Maryland’s vote makes it the first state below the Mason-Dixon line to approve same-sex marriage, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Minnesota
Voters were asked to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman only. That amendment was rejected, but only narrowly, with 51 per cent of voters voting “no.” Whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage in the state will likely be back up for debate in January, reports the Duluth News Tribune.

Washington State
Legislators have already approved a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington State. But in a last-ditch attempt to thwart the bill, opponents were able to get a question onto the ballot, asking voters if they wanted to uphold the law. Due to a high number of mail-in ballots, the results of that ballot are not yet conculsive and “the vote count was expected to stretch on for days,” reports the Wall Street Journal, but early results showed voters were 52 per cent in favour of the same-sex marriage bill.




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5 victories for gay rights and same-sex marriage

  1. The victories for marriage equality in Maine, Minnesota, Washington, and Maryland tell me one thing: Americans are learning to make better value judgments.

    Why is it that Straight couples are encouraged to date, get engaged, marry and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … yet for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment.

    Ask any Straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, “We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!” That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the ability of even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.
    No, the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another’s happiness, health, and well-being, to the exclusion of all others. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows.

    THAT’S what makes marriage a good thing, whether the couple in question is Straight OR Gay. It looks like American voters are starting to accept that.

  2. I light of all the negativity and the rhetoric leading up to this election the results from last night are surprisingly positive. Support for gay marriage, Team Rape getting booted out of office and pot legalized in Washington and Colorado. Go figure.

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