An Historic First: Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage at the Polls

November 13th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Joy Blankenship/

The November 2012 election brought in many noteworthy results—the re-election of America’s first black president, Barack Obama, with a surprising sweep of the swing states; the consigning of Mitt Romney to the ashcan of political history after a debate-win-fueled, strong final run; the losses by two Republican Senate candidates who were favored to win before making offensive comments about rape; and the election of Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. senator.

In addition to the federal election results, the voter referendums in various states were noteworthy as well.  Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana.  (Sober Oregon turned back a similar referendum.)  California voters did not vote to end the state’s death penalty.  Three states, Maryland, Oregon, and Rhode Island, approved or expanded casino gambling.  Florida voters did not ban public funding for abortion, while Montana voters added a parental-notification requirement prior to abortion for a minor.  Massachusetts voters rejected doctor-assisted suicide, but embraced medical marijuana.

Arguably, the most significant referenda results of all relate to same-sex marriage.  For the first time, same-sex marriage was legalized by voters.  In Maryland, Maine, and Washington State, voters passed such referendums.  The referendums in Maryland and Washington cleared the way for same-sex marriage to take effect after the respective state legislatures passed bills to authorize it.  The referendum in Maine is perhaps more surprising, since voters there used a “people’s veto” just a few years ago to override legislative

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