Supporters of same-sex marriage reached a major milestone in Tuesday’s elections, when Maryland and Maine became the first states where voters upheld marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
While gay marriage has gained the support of courts, state legislatures and even President Barack Obama, voters have rejected the question every time it has appeared as a ballot issue.
But Tuesday turned the tide. Washington state voters were poised to uphold gay marriage on Wednesday, with supporters of the referendum declaring victory. Voters in Minnesota turned down an effort to ban gay marriage in the state’s constitution.
“We can’t underestimate the importance of what we saw yesterday,” said David Masci, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “It’s a pretty big deal.”
Part of it boils down to demographic changes, he said. Younger voters overwhelmingly backed Obama’s election in 2008 and turned out in even larger numbers on Tuesday. They’re also the group that shows the highest support for gay marriage.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Spain's highest court upheld the country's gay marriage law on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal lodged by the ruling People's Party seven years ago and confirming the legality of same-sex unions.
By the end of last year, more than 21,000 same-sex couples had tied the knot since Spain became the fourth country in the world to legalize gay marriage in July 2005.
Eight of the Constitutional Court's 11 judges voted in favour of the law, the court said in a statement, adding that the full ruling will be published in the next few days.
Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said the government would respect the decision and leave the law as it stands.
Excerpts above from In shift, gay marriage racks up wins on the ballot and Same-sex marriage upheld by Spain's highest court.