Tuesday was historic for many reasons in the USA, not only for the reelection of President Barack Obama, but also for voters approving measures on recreational use of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, and same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland. For gay rights activists it was a historic win as the results in Maine and Maryland broke the streak of 32 previous defeats across the nation in direct ballots. After Tuesday, Maine and Maryland will become the seventh and eighth states in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage and recognize the rights of same-sex couples.
In another victory for gay rights, voters in Minnesota defeated a measure brought to ban same-sex marriage in the state breaking the chain of such measures being approved in 30 other states with North Carolina being the last in the chain.
An elated Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign, a California-based gay rights group told the media, “The tide has turned – when voters have the opportunity to really hear directly from loving, committed same-sex couples and their families, they voted for fairness … Those who oppose the freedom to marry for committed couples are clearly on the wrong side of history.”
In Maine, the victory for gay rights was particularly significant, as gay-marriage though enacted by the legislature, had been quashed by a 2009 referendum. This was the first time that gay-rights activists were able to get sufficient signatures to put the matter on ballot.
In Maryland, gay marriage had been approved by lawmakers and signed into law, but opponents put the matter to vote hoping to quash that law.
Many believe that the outcomes of these ballot measures might influence the thought process of the Supreme Court if it decides to review challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, but opponents of gay marriages are confident of their position, and see the score as 32-2 in their favor.