Ballot initiatives present generally progressive results

November 11th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Although President Barack Obama’s re-election dominated media coverage Tuesday night, several states around the country also made news by voting on particularly divisive social justice issues — and moved in a largely progressive direction.

Maine, Maryland and Washington legalized same-sex marriage after long and bitter battles, and Minnesota voted not to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, while four other states legalized marijuana usage in some capacity. Yale students hailing from these states said they were largely unsurprised by the results of the ballot initiatives, characterizing them as evidence of the more liberal values of a younger generation of voters.

Amalia Skilton ’13, a campus activist, said activism around marriage equality is especially important for people her age.

This past semester, Skilton worked on the “Yes on 1” campaign in Maine, an ultimately successful second attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. In 2009, Maine voters rejected marriage equality after legislation permitting same-sex marriage was approved by the state’s legislature and governor. This year, Maine became the first state in which supporters of same-sex marriage collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot themselves.

All three states were the first in the union to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Same-sex marriage had already been legalized in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but only by lawmakers or through court rulings.

As of press time, it appeared that

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