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Last night, voters sent a message: It is time to move FORWARD! In addition to the re-election of President Barack Obama and election of the first openly gay Senator, Wisconsin candidate Tammy Baldwin, voters in four states -- Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota -- took major steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage. Overall, the results are not only a fantastic win for human rights but a reflection of just how much progress we've made and we will hopefully continue to make.
Here, the low down on all of the key victories for fairness, equality, and love ...
Maine - 53 percent of voters said "yes" to legalize same-sex marriage. Now, fingers are crossed Pine Tree State has no trouble sticking with this move! (After all, the legislature passed a bill allowing marriage equality back in '06, but voters overturned it in '09.) The good news: By December, same-sex couples in Maine can get marriage licenses. Woowoo!!
Maryland - Although those close to the vote are saying it was a close call and passed with a very slim margin, Maryland became the first state below the Mason-Dixon line to approve same-sex marriage. 51.9 percent of voters said "yes!" to equality.
Washington - In addition to OK'ing recreational pot last night, voters had their say on a bill legislators had already approved -- which would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington State -- but opponents pushed to make it a question on the ballot. The vote is currently inconclusive, due to a high number of mail-in ballots, but early results are leaning toward a victory!
Minnesota - When asked if they should approve a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, 51 percent of voters in the Midwestern state said "NO!" And local advocates are pumping themselves up for another fight anticipated to come in January, according to The Duluth News Tribune: To officially legalize same-sex marriage.
All in all, this was undoubtedly an election year to remember. As Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement:
When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box. The dreams of millions of fair-minded Americans were realized as discrimination crumbled and equality prevailed.
Hooray!!! And, ha, guess this means Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting muuuuuch closer to finally tying the knot.
How do you feel about these marriage equality victories?!
Image via Fibonnaci Blue/Flickr