The issue had been before voters 32 times and had been rejected every time. But activists say public opinion has shifted since 2008, when California passed a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for heterosexual couples. A 2010 poll showed that, for the first time, more Americans supported gay marriage than opposed it, and in May, President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage.
A win in any of the four states would suggest that momentum is on the side of gay marriage activists, said Fred Sainzo, a spokesman at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group that has donated $5 million to gay marriage proponents in the four states."
From a different article:
"Statewide ballot measures to legalize same-sex marriage took the lead in Washington and passed in Maryland and Maine on Tuesday, as proponents of marriage equality broke a string of 32 consecutive losses in statewide votes on the contentious social issue.
Referendum 74 in this state was leading 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent, largely on the strength of support from populous King County and other Puget Sound counties. It was being roundly rejected in Eastern Washington and in more socially conservative counties of Southwest Washington.
In a state that rejected marriage equality in 2009, same-sex marriage passed by a narrow 52-48 percent margin in Maine. The contest won a 52-48 percent victory in Maryland, where Catholic Archbishop William Lori required priests to read a pastoral letter denouncing same-sex marriage from the pulpits of his diocese.
But opponents of same-sex marriage faced a stinging defeat in a fourth state. Minnesota voters were rejecting a state constitutional amendment - relentlessly promoted by Catholic bishops, but opposed by Protestant denominations and Catholic laity - that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman."
Are we seeing the definitive turn of the tide? For the first time, we are seeing *popular votes* upholding same-sex marriage.
What do you think?
(And in case you were wondering, I posted this in the Religion forum to go along with the two Proposition 8 discussions, and because the vast majority of the organized resistance to the legalization of same-sex marriage is coming from groups and individuals who claim a religious justification for that opposition)