Gay marriage laws pass across country
Maine, Maryland, Washington approve new policies; Minnesota rejects ban
The country inched closer to national acceptance of gay marriage Tuesday evening when voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington chose to legalize same-sex marriage, and Minnesota voters rejected a proposed ban.
Tuesday marked the first time a popular vote, as opposed to a court order or legislative action, has institutionalized gay marriage in a state, Center for Politics spokesperson Geoff Skelley said.
“It is hard not to notice that national polling suggests that more people are supportive of gay marriage,” he said.
In Minnesota, however, some saw the rejection of the gay marriage ban as a move in the wrong direction.
“Despite the disappointing outcome of this election … We know that God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman, regardless of the efforts of some to overthrow His design,” Minnesota for Marriage Chairman John Helmberger said in a press release.
To Virginia residents, President Barack Obama’s win in the commonwealth Tuesday also shows promise for progress on the state level, said Cindy Gray, co-president of the University Queer Student Union.
But Skelley said a measure to legalize gay marriage in Virginia would not pass currently, and it would likely be a while before the state would do so.
“[It would be] narrowly defeated at the moment,” Skelley said. “If trends continue, it could have a chance… [because,] at the end of the day, the state has a larger percentage of college educated voters than other states.”
Gray said she is confident Tuesday’s results are just the beginning.
“We hope that this is a foreshadowing of what is to come in the future for states across the nation,” she said.