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2012-NOV: Accelerating steps toward same-sex marriage (SSM) etc.

Part 2: Remarks by DEPFOX. Overview of the SSM
referendums in Maine, Maryland & Washington State

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We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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See also the previous essay describing events during 2012-NOV, Part 1

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You Tube video:

A same-sex couple, DEPFOX, discusses the impact of the 2012 SSM referendums:

A concession speech by Protect Marriage Maine -- a group opposed to marriage equality -- starts at 1:56.

  1

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Rising public support of SSM passed a referendum in favor SSM for Maine:

On 2009-MAY-06, John Baldacci (D), the governor of Maine, signed into law a bill approving same-sex marriage (SSM) throughout the state. Religious and social conservatives quickly raised a petition to place a referendum on the ballot for the next election day, 2009-NOV-03, with the intent of repealing the law. The vote went narrowly for marriage equality 53% to 47%. The SSM law was repealed... temporarily.

On 2012-FEB-24, supporters for marriage equality were able to place a new referendum -- Question 1 -- on the 2012-NOV-06 ballot to try to repeal the previous referendum and thereby legalize SSM in the state. The question asked is: "Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?"

Ballotpedia reports a poll by Maine People's Resource Center on 2012-SEP-16 about 7 weeks before the referendum. It showed 53% in favor of marriage equality; 43% against, and 4% undecided among likely voters, for a margin of 10 percentage points. Margin of error is ±3.4%. This vote was too close to predict the outcome of the referendum with confidence.

Results of the NOV-06 referendum:

  • Although it seemed a bit premature, Mainers United for Marriage declared victory by 06:30 PM on NOV-07, even though only partial results were available at the time. They tweeted: "Maine voters approve the freedom to marry! For the first time, marriage wins at the ballot." 2

  • The Bangor Daily News reported on NOV-08 that with 99% of the precincts reporting -- all but 7 -- 52.58% of the votes favored SSM; 47.42% were opposed. 3

Barring a miracle, the 2009 referendum has been overturned by the public. The marriage law that had been repealed will be reinstated. Marriage will soon be available to all loving committed couples in Maine, whether they be of the same gender or opposite gender. 4

More detailed information, further developments and reactions on this vote are discussed in a separate essay.

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... and in Maryland:

On 2012-MAR-01, Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley (D) signed into law a bill approving SSM. Religious and social conservatives raised a petition -- Question 6, the "Civil Marriage Protection Act" -- for the ballot on election day. Voting in favor would retain the law that allows SSM.

The petition is worded:

"Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs." 5

Ballotpedia reported a poll by Opinion Works for the Baltimore Sun on 2012-SEP-26 showing 46% in favor of marriage equality; 47% against, and 7% undecided among likely voters. Margin of error is ±3.5%. Considering the halo effect, and the expected fear-based TV ads, we felt that it was very probable that the law legalizing SSM will be repealed and marriage inequality would be preserved in the state.

Results were a surprise to many:

  • With 54% of the precincts reporting, Question 6 was very narrowly leading with 51% in favor and 49% against. 6

  • With all precincts reporting, Question 6 had passed with a slightly larger margin: 51.9% to 48.1%. 7

The vote on the Civil Marriage Protection Act will be formally certified by the Secretary of State about the end of November. Marriage licenses should become available to all loving committed couples, whether of the same gender or opposite gender, on the first working day of 2013. 8 If you are planning to get married, we suggest that you check out the date when you can buy a license and the waiting time in advance.

Governor Martin O'Malley issued a statement:

"Over these past few weeks, Marylanders joined together to affirm that for a free and diverse people of many faiths -- a people committed to religious freedom -- the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all." 9

More detailed information, further developments and reactions on this vote are discussed in a separate essay.

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... and in Washington State:

On 2012-FEB-13, Governor Christine Gregoire (D), the governor of Washington, signed a into law a bill approving SSM. Religious and social conservatives mounted a petition to place Referendum R-74 on the ballot on election day in an attempt to repeal the law before it became active.

On OCT-24, Elway Research released a poll showing that 49% of voters support marriage equality while 45% oppose it, for a margin of only 4 percentage points. This is within the ±4.5% margin of error. An earlier poll showed 51% support and 37% opposition for a 14 percentage point margin. The drop in support and increase in opposition appear to have been caused by fear-based anti-SSM TV ads by the National Organization for Marriage. This vote seemed too close to call as election day approached.

Referendums in Washington always ask voters to vote "Yes" if they want to uphold the existing state law. Thus, those voting in favor of marriage equality voted in favor of the referendum; those who want to repeal the law voted "No." This put the organizers of the referendum in the awkward position of having to explain that they wanted the public to vote "No" on their referendum.

The ballot wording is:

"The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony." 10

On NOV-07, officials from Washington United for Marriage -- the main pro-marriage equality group -- declared that they had won.

On NOV-09, with all precincts reporting, the vote was 52.6 in favor of SSM and 47.4 opposed.

The new marriage law will come into effect and marriage will become available for all loving committed Washington couples, whether of the same gender or opposite gender. More detailed information are covered elsewhere.

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This topic continues in Part 3

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References used:

These information sources were used to prepare & update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. DepFox, "Big Marriage Equality Win 2012!," You Tube, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://youtu.be/
  2. Mainers United: Thank you Maine!," Twitter, 2012-NOV-07, at: https://twitter.com/
  3. "2012 general election results for Maine," Bangor Daily News, as on 2012-NOV-08, at: http://maineelections.bangordailynews.com/
  4. "Marriage equality victory declared in Maine," Towleroad, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
  5. "Maryland Same-Sex Civil Marriage Referendum, Question 6 (2012)," Ballotpedia, 2012-NOV-09, at: http://ballotpedia.org/
  6. "Election results live stream and coverage," The Diamondback University of Maryland student newspaper, 2012-NOV-06, at: http://www.diamondbackonline.com/
  7. "Unofficial 2012 Presidential General Election results for All State Questions ," Maryland State Board of Elections, as on 2012-NOV-09, at: http://elections.state.md.us/
  8. Andy Towle, "Marriage equality wins in Maryland," Towleroad, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
  9. Martin O'Malley, "Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on the Civil Marriage Protection Act," Maryland.gov, 2012-NOV-06, at: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/
  10. "Washington Same-Sex Marriage Veto Referendum, Referendum 74 (2012)," Ballotpedia, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://ballotpedia.org/

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How you got here:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > 2012-NOV > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > Tipping point > 2012-NOV> here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Agenda & news >LGBT News> 2012-NOV here

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Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2012-NOV-05
Latest update: 2012-NOV-11
Author: B.A. Robinson
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