After 30+ times being rejected at the ballot box, same-sex marriage finally prevailed. Residents in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota cast their votes on the issue. Maryland was technically the first state to declare a win for the LGBT community, and it looks like the other three states will follow suit. Washington’s results won’t be official for a few days until all the mail-in ballots are tabulated, but the prognosis looks good.
“When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “The dreams of millions of fair-minded Americans were realized as discrimination crumbled and equality prevailed.”
If that wasn’t enough great news, the election also brought the United States its first openly gay Senator in history. Democratic Representative Tammy Baldwin defeated former governor Tommy Thompson to represent Wisconsin in the Senate. Another openly gay politician, Democrat Mark Pocan, is expected to replace Baldwin in the House of Representatives, now that she has a new position.
While Maryland, Washington and Maine decided on whether or not to legalize gay marriage, Minnesota voters were asked whether a ban on same-sex marriage should be implemented. Check out the numbers for each state as of publish time.
* 75% polls reporting
Question 1: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
- Yes: 300,336 (53%)
- No: 262,820 (47%)
* 97% polls reporting
Question 6: Referendum Petition
Civil Marriage Protection Act (Ch. 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session)
Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
- For: 1,208,068 (52%)
- Against: 1,112,998 (48%)
* 51% polls reporting
Would ask if same-sex marriage should be legalized in the state?
- Approve: 985,308 (52%)
- Reject: 917,197 (48%)
* 99% polls reporting
Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.
“Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.
- Yes: 1,384,949 (48%)
- No: 1,491,731 (52%)
Just in case you were flipping between several channels trying to figure out which network declared Barack Obama as the winner first, here are the times for each channel.