Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Last night was a historic general election day for advocates of same-sex rights. Two states, Maryland and Maine voted to give same-sex couples the right to marry. In addition to this, the voters of Minnesota voted to reject a proposition that would have changed the definition of marriage to prohibit same-sex marriage. On a related note, "Wisconsin elected America's first openly lesbian senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, and President Obama became the first president to openly support same-sex marriage and get re-elected." Pollsters argue that the reason for this shift is the changing attitudes of Americans towards same-sex marriage. Both provisions are different but accomplish the same goals. In addition, both statutes have a provision that provide an exception that would allow a member of the clergy to refuse to marry a homosexual couple if it is against their religious convictions.
Of the states that permit same-sex marriage, these two states are the only states that have permitted same-sex marriage based upon a voter initiate. The other six states allow same-sex marriage because of the actions of judges or their state's legislature.
See Ben Brumfield, Voters Approve Same-sex Marriage For The First Time, CNN, Nov. 7, 2012.