Keep your fingers crossed, but it looks like yesterday was a great day here in the United States for the gay community. There were ballot measures in four different states dealing with same-sex marriage and supporters of gay marriage are leading in all four at the moment.
With 97% of the votes counted, voters in Maryland appear to have upheld the same-sex marriage legislation their state legislature approved earlier this year, 52% to 48%. In Maine, with 75% of the votes in, voters appear to have repealed a previous law banning same-sex marriage and passed a proposal to permit same-sex marriage in their state, 53% to 47%.
In the state of Minnesota, with 99% of the votes counted, voters appear to have narrowly defeated a measure that would have amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman, 51% to 49%. While the state already has a law barring same-sex marriage, conservatives hoped to prevent a future Legislature or court decision from reversing it by enacting this constitutional amendment.
Finally, with over half the votes counted in the state of Washington , voters seem to be upholding the same-sex marriage legislation their state legislature approved earlier this year by a vote of 52% to 48%. However, final results are not expected until later this week because ballots were still being mailed in as late as Tuesday.
The vote margins in all four of these states are much too close. However, a win in all four will be historic. While six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through court or legislative decisions, voters across the United States had rejected it more than 30 times in a row.
So, no matter how small they may be, these victories are a measure of progress and I would like to personally thank the voters in these four states for standing up for gay people.
It wasn’t easy. In the final week of the campaign, opponents of marriage rights, mainly financed by the National Organization for Marriage and the Roman Catholic Church, mounted a barrage of advertising and telephone appeals in all four. In some, Catholic bishops had ordered letters to be read from the pulpit denouncing same-sex marriage.
In other election news, voters in the state of Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate. Baldwin will be the first openly gay Senator in America. You go girl! And while I continue to have issues with President Obama, his reelection last evening was good news for gay people as well.
We still have a long way to go, but things are looking up. Those who preach bigotry and hatred are on the losing side of history, and yesterday was definitely an important day for the LGBT community.