Three Groundbreaking Victories for Gay Marriage

Tonight was a good night for gay marriage as well as marijuana. Voters approved ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage in three states by similar margins: 53 to 47 in Maine, 52 to 48 in Maryland and Washington. In Minnesota an initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage is tied right now, with 75 percent of precincts reporting.

This is the first time gay marriage has been legalized by popular vote. In the six other states where it is legal (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont), the policy was enacted by the legislature or compelled by a court decision. By contrast, most of the state laws allowing medical use of marijuana—another one of which passed tonight in Massachusetts—have been enacted by voters. (Colorado and Washington both had such laws before broadening the policy to include recreational use.) But public opinion about gay marriage has followed a trajectory similar to public opinion about marijuana legalization, breaking 50 percent support in national surveys only recently. The same dynamic seems to be at work, in which familiarity breeds tolerance instead of contempt. There is something encouraging to think about if you are depressed by the more-of-the-same national election results.

Update: With 87 percent of precincts reporting, the no votes on Minnesota's Amendment 1 have pulled ahead of the yes votes, 51 percent to 47 percent. Assuming this pattern holds, it will be only the second time a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has been defeated. The other example is Arizona's Proposition 107 in 2006.

Update II: The Minnesota marriage ban was defeated, 51 percent to 48 percent (1 percent of voters left that part of the ballot blank). Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, says, "This landmark victory is yet another example of the national momentum toward treating all families fairly. Congratulations to Minnesota for recognizing and affirming our common humanity by rejecting this unnecessary and unfair amendment."

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  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Who gives a damn about gay marriage?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Reason is celebrating the causes they really care about, stonage and sodomy.

  • Live Free or Die||

    No, they're celebrating freedom in whatever forms it comes that, be that the freedom to take in substances or the freedom to marry the person you love.

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads||

    Hahaaha get the fuck off my lawn, Paultard.

  • Fluhdoten1||

    they are celebrating the republic overpowering democracy.

    Clearly the public doesnt want it. Its pushed with propaganda and is only NOW passing by will of the people.

    Yet judicial activism has been legislating this for over a decade.

    Agree or disagree, it shows a general disdain the govt has for what citizens want.

    Current attitudes are not a representation of what ppl naturally feel. It represents what ppl can be made to feel via a concerted social propaganda compaign.

    I dont mind private citizens deploying their own dogma, lets just leave the govt out of it.

    This is why govt legitimized social behavior, that is not outlawed or persecuted, is going overboard.

    We dont need the govt to give gays a stamp of approval.

    This is why gay dogma is shortsighted: They only seek to expand bestowed benefits to "gay lover" as legitimized by formal govt recognition.

    If insurance cant give hetero marriages and natural/adopted offspring preferential treatment, then EVERYONE (relationship or not) should have legal power to bestow benefits to one (1) other person, at their own discretion. Married or not.

    Gay marriage is not only a misnomer, its a bigoted and close-minded application of relationship status.

    What do single ppl get from insurance companies?

    Everyone should be able to arbitrarily give 1 other person insurance on their own plans IF we expand this to gays.

    Gays should not have rights above and beyond singles.

    They are so dam shortsighted its staggering.

  • Lyle||

    Yep, it's hard to believe they put marijuana and gay marriage before the economy.

  • ||

    The economy was never mentioned in the post.

    It's impossible to know where marijuana and gay marriage stand with respect to the economy in Jacob Sullum's mind when he never mentioned the economy.

  • ||

    Any port in a storm. Sure, gay marriage and weed weren't the motivating factors for me in this election, but I'd rather focus on the two or three positive results from tonight instead of the near overwhelming number of negatives. I highly doubt my liver could take the later scenario.

  • Live Free or Die||

    Lots of my friends who have been waiting for years to get married and live in Washington. I'll be going to a lot of weddings this summer.

  • Sidd Finch||

    You have "lots" of friends who are 1) in Washington 2) gay, and 3) waiting to get married?

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads||

    Yippeeeeeeeee

    I hope that your dollar is still worth a whopping .10 of what it is now....so you can get to WA on that $8 gas.

    You one issue voters are disgusting.

  • cavalier973||

    You're not really married unless the gov't says you are.

  • Thomas O.||

    A lot of straight people do, obviously.

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - MLK Jr.

  • ||

    It is a great day to be gay.

  • Live Free or Die||

    I don't believe states should be involved in marriage for anyone but since they are, I'm extremely happy that a few more states will recognize gay marriage, especially by a popular vote. People must always be free to be ignorant, homophobic jerks but not government. Equal protection under the laws. No one's marriage (between consenting adults) should ever be voted on- they have that right, it's just whether or not government recognizes it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "People must always be free to be ignorant, homophobic jerks but not government."

    But they're not going to have that right in MN, ME, and MD. They'll have the right to pay damages to any gay customer they decline to deal with. Not to mention the right to have gay-marriage propaganda in their kids' schools.

  • Thomas O.||

    Economic Hardship vs. Religious Freedom! STEEL CAGE MATCH!

  • Matrix||

    But the problem with it is, if they do recognize the right, then too few will challenge the authority of the government on marriage.

  • Lyle||

    Good for the gay marriage advances.

  • Bill||

    Is there any state yet where you can have a gay wedding and legally have pot at the reception? Or at least have it and know that no one will go to jail?

    Obama won by about a million votes and Johnson got about a million. Wonder if it affected the electoral votes?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Washington.

  • Bill||

    Ok, I see that Washington just legalized both.

    New vacation destination. For the pot, not the marriage.

  • Libertopian||

    That would only be fun if it were a lesbian wedding, preferably lipstick lesbians. Otherwise you'd be have to watch two two dudes getting all intimate together while high. Yuck.

  • Another David||

    It doesn't seem to have. Obama is pulling a slight majority in Ohio and Virginia, and all of Johnson's votes going to Romney in Florida wouldn't tip the result - although it would be very, very close.

  • sarcasmic||

    Once again I successfully predicted the outcome of the election by taking the inverse of my ballot.

  • R C Dean||

    Voters approved ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage in three states.

    Is this the first time a statewide vote has gone pro-gay? There've been a ton of them that have gone the other way, but I don't recall one that has gone this way.

  • Thomas O.||

    Yes indeedy.

    And now the nanny-state conservatives can't use that talking point in their weaponry anymore.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Not to worry. They'll slip that one into the memory hole and find a new one before you can say, "unelected liberal activist voters."

  • gangly||

    Hot Stock Tip:

    Invest in tuxedos and glitter.

    And the two-tiny-guys-on-top-of-a-cake industry is comin' back to America!

  • nike001||

    I just see Jason Hu has single-handedly pushed the coffin lid, heart shocked that http://www.cheapfootballcleatsmall.com/ comes from a fear of the unknown. The coffin lid open, drove my curiosity I looked at them on the coffins. On this one, so my curiosity pressure over fear. Of course, I am no longer the main reason for the http://www.cheapfootballcleats....._92_1.html fear is very good save with a fox's body, looks like a very thin sleeping fox general.

  • the_unseen||

    It's disappointing to see this publication using the same pedestrian terminology as the rest of the media. Describing marriage as "legal" demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both legality and marriage. Go to your place of religious worship, put on a ring, and sign some contract with your health insurance company, or whoever else will recognize your private decision, but leave the special government privileges out of it.

    There are no rights at stake here!

    Gay marriage was not a crime before it was "legalized." If the sales tax on all blue cars was eliminated, you could still buy a red car, but you'd pay the sales tax. "Legalize red cars!" No. Find a better word.

  • gangly||

    Unnecessary argument about semantics... GO!

    I think the word is fine in this case. When a government privilege is denied to someone, that citizen continuing that behavior is understood as "illegal" activity.

    State revokes your driver's license (privilege to drive) but you still motor around, they'd say you were driving "illegally". Gay couples wanting their marriage to be recognized by a government that specifically doesn't for just them can be seen as that privilege being taken away, so their efforts to have the same benefits as hetero couples could easily be termed "illegal".

    Also, you can use that word in the sense of "to give legal validity or sanction to", so a behavior doesn't necessarily have to be illegal before it can be said to have been "legalized".

  • Robert||

    This familiarity breeding tolerance business is something I'm sadly resigned to, i.e. the so-called teaching function of the law. You make any change to law, and people come more to think of whatever it is as the right thing to do, or not do, as the case may be. Drug prohibition is propped up primarily these days by the teaching function of the law.

  • Kennon||

    The fact is groups like the volunteer Libertarian Institute are helping drive world change through initiatives and public leader contact.

  • Epicdelusion||

    So if you buy a house together with a friend, live together, work together, have a life together in a completely platonic fashion, you get nothing. Stick your dick in his ass and you get offered "rights". Let the gays marry so we can move to step two-- getting government out of marriage completely.

  • Epicdelusion||

    On a side note, more people would probably be openminded towards gays if their supporters (heterosexual and homosexual alike) weren't such obnoxious tools. Fortunately reasonable people can see beyond the hype. The leftist gay agenda is so annoying that even those who are very socially liberal can be turned off by it. The hyperbole, the threats, the crazy bullshit, the accusing people of being nazi bigots for not supporting your ideas on gays. Telling your friends they can delete you from their lives if you don't support gay marriage.

  • gangly||

    What exactly is this "agenda"? I thought that term was mostly relegated for ignorant religious folks' conspiracy theories about gay indoctrination and general immoral behavior (whatever that means).

    As far as I can see, the only real "agenda" is having equal marriage rights. It's pretty simple.

  • Rabban||

    Gay marriage. Government enforced sanction of sodomy based unions. Oh what a wonderful day for personal freedom. Whatever happened to freedom of association libertarians? The problem with the gay rights agenda is that it seeks to force people to accept homosexuality via the long arm of the state. You own a business? Great, we are forcing you to pay steve and his life catamite the extra benefits you offer your traditionally married employees. Homosexuality should be legal, but people should not be forced to support it. Whether they choose to or not is their business. Much in the same way the civil rights movement went a bridge to far in overturning Jim Crow (state ordered discrimination)into affirmative action (state ordered discrimination in the opposite direction).

  • gangly||

    Affirmative action grants preferential treatment to certain groups. This just grants all couples equal privileges. Whether or not you disapprove of those privileges on the whole, that comparison is still baseless.

    And "catamite"? Seriously? I'm always willing to hear informed arguments, but when one is clearly influenced by homophobia your point gets lost in a mire of ignorant hate.

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