Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
In Maine and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to begin allowing same-sex unions. Those wins mark a first for a cause that previously had been rejected by voters in more than 30 states, including as recently as 2009 in Maine.
And in Minnesota, where gay marriage already isn’t allowed, voters declined to back an initiative that would have enshrined in the state’s constitution a definition of marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.
In Washington state, where voters also weighed an initiative to legalize gay marriage, the vote count was expected to stretch for days. With about half of the precincts counted nearly 52% of voters supported the idea.
In Maine, campaigners for same-sex marriage said the win marked a turning point for their cause.
via Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States – WSJ.com.
“It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” Pitt wrote in an email sent to HRC members and posted on the HRC website. “In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples—our friends and neighbors—are worthy of the same protections as everyone else. But that’s the system we have and I’m not going to back down from the fight of loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry.”
via Brad Pitt Donates 100000 To Marriage Equality Campaign | E! Online.
Recently I visited Minnesota to meet folks involved in the same-sex marriage debate. I was inspired by the amount of energy that people were devoting to the cause, and to emphasizing dialogue and conversation instead of shouting and slogans.
One thing we’ve learned is that a lot of Minnesotans (and Marylanders, Washingtonians and Mainers) are sincere in supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians and simultaneously sincere in their misgivings about same-sex marriage. Yes, there are absolutely-sure people on both sides, but there are also a lot of people sincerely in the middle. If you’re one of those people, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned as someone involved in this issue for several years now — and as someone who married my same-sex partner in New York a year ago.
First, I want to say that I get it. I know many people in the gay community who say that if you don’t support marriage equality, then you must be a bigot or a homophobe, but I know that that isn’t true. I know plenty of people who are sincerely concerned about the consequences of same-sex marriage for their communities and their values — and some of them are my friends. So this is not about bashing people who disagree. (Of course, it’s also true that there are some bigots and homophobes out there, too. But I’m not really speaking to them, because they’re not interested in what I have to say anyway!)
To those sincerely wrestling with this issue, I offer four points to consider.
Jay Michaelson: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider.
opponents of marriage equality still miss the point: Marriage equality is not about “holy matrimony” or the religious sanction of a “lifestyle” (Question 6 would force no faith to recognize any marriage inconsistent with its religious traditions). It’s about civil marriage licenses and civil status under the law, which confers to people basic respect and dignity.
Moreover, marriage equality doesn’t undermine Judeo-Christian values. In fact, it advances one of the two most important teachings of the Bible: treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself. How I wish that commandment had opened people’s eyes to injustice long ago.
via Marriage equality and the golden rule – The Washington Post.
On Election Day 2012, four states, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington will all have marriage equality on their ballots. Maryland, Maine and Washington would be the first states to enact marriage equality through voter referendums. In Minnesota, the issue on the ballot is an anti-gay marriage equality constitutional amendment.
Many of the “religious liberty” or “religious freedom” arguments against same-sex marriage equality depict scenarios using threatening language:
“Homosexual couples will be banging down the doors of your local church demanding to be married in your sanctuaries if this legislation passes.”
This is just not true.
What is up for vote in states is civil marriage. A civil marriage is a legal contract within a state; it is not a religious marriage.
Pastors will still be able to perform, or not, ceremonies at their will. No pastor will be forced to marry anyone. Period. It is true today and, no matter what the vote is on November 6h, it will be true then as well.
via Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation.
Whether or not one is in favor of Maryland’s Question 6 that would legalize same-sex marriage, let’s be clear about one thing: The successful passage of this measure will make a lot of people incredibly happy. Happy that straight folk have decided it’s only fair to extend the same rights to their gay brethren and sistern that they themselves enjoy without ever having lifted a ring finger. Nothing in Question 6 will have any appreciable or deleterious affect on a straight person’s life in Maryland. None.
One’s genuinely held religious, moral and/or other convictions and beliefs do not trump my right to pursue an individual happiness that harms no one else. The happiness I pursue is being enabled to legally marry the man I love.
via Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun.
On October 24th, celebrity chefs including Jose Andres and Bryan Voltaggio will converge at Chefs for Equality, an event emceed by Tim Gunn and co-hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and food columnist David Hagedorn. At the Ritz Carlton Washington DC, they’ll join Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in an effort to preserve Maryland’s standing marriage equality law, which is up for referendum next month.
Tickets are going for $300 a head, but if you want to feel like you’re at one of those fancy Obama dinners, you can bid on one of nine auctioned chefs tables, where celebrity chef duos will be teaming up to cook you a five-course meal. Bryan “The Quiet One” Voltaggio is paired with Michel Richard of Central, and this event solves the mystery of his offering to match donations made to Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Sommeliers will also be on hand to craft wine pairings on the fly.
via Tim Gunn Celebrity Chefs Marriage Equality | The Braiser.
There is no good reason religious people should oppose marriage equality. In fact, there’s every good reason, including religious reasons, for supporting the freedom to marry.
This November, Maryland voters will have the historic opportunity to extend the rights and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Specifically, Marylanders will vote on Question 6, asking them to approve or reject a marriage equality bill state legislators passed earlier this year.
Should voters affirm the law, Maryland would join six other states and the District of Columbia – as well as become the first state below the Mason-Dixon Line – that currently allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry. It would also make Maryland the first state (or one of the first states, depending on the results of Maine and Washington’s marriage equality referenda) to approve of marriage equality at the ballot box.
In short, approving marriage equality at the ballot box in Maryland would be a historic moment in the fight for “liberty and justice for all.”
via Liberty and justice for all in Maryland – Guest Voices – The Washington Post.
Eric Lee misses the point of Question 6 in his commentary on same-sex marriage (“Protecting marriage isn’t about hate,” Oct. 2). His analogy of the vegetarian restaurant is particularly off the mark. If his favorite vegetarian restaurant starts serving hamburgers, he is under no obligation to buy or eat them.
A more fit analogy for Question 6 would be a restaurant in 1960 allowing a black couple to sit at a table with white people. Or, 10 years ago, a restaurant moving your favorite table and adding a wheelchair ramp to allow a disabled person the same right to share a meal.
Question 6 is about allowing the citizens of Maryland to enjoy the legal, government-recognized institution of marriage. It has no effect on one’s God or religion and how they define a religious marriage.
One of the longest and most stable relationships in my extended family is a same-sex union. My cousin and her partner are raising three wonderful kids who benefit from a stable, committed relationship that has all the “special qualities” and “unique gifts” Mr. Lee mistakenly credits only to heterosexual couples. This great family is always welcome at my table.
via Md. referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage – baltimoresun.com.