There are same-sex marriage propositions on the ballot in four states, which could have significant implications for marriage equality in this country. However, will they face the same fate as previous same-sex marriage initiatives? Or will the trend change?
In Maryland, Question 6 will allow voters to decide whether or not to uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act which allows for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses while protecting clergy from being required to perform a marriage ceremony that violates their religious beliefs. The measure stands a good chance of passing if the results from an October Washington Post poll are any indication. That poll showed a nine-point lead in favor of upholding the law.
Washington voters will make a similar decision when they vote on Referendum 74. According to a recent non-partisan Washington Poll, the same-sex marriage initiative is favored 57.9% to 36.9%. Adjusted for those who might not give an accurate answer, the race was closer, with Referendum 74 favored 52.3% to 45.8%. It could pass, but it will depend on voter turnout.
In Maine, voters will decide on Question 1, which would overturn a previous measure banning same-sex marriage. A poll by the Maine People’s Resource Center saw a 53% to 43% lead for supporters of the measure. If the poll is accurate, and those in favor of the measure get supporters to vote, Maine could move toward marriage equality.
In contrast, Minnesota voters will decide on Amendment 1, which would define marriage as between one man and one woman. The amendment is neck and neck in a recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. That poll showed 48% in favor of the measure, with 47% opposed. However, it requires a majority of all votes cast in order to change the state’s constitution, so even if the measure passes, unless it receives over 50% of the vote, it could still fail. Passage would be a blow to same-sex marriage supporters, but this one seems too close to call.
Depending on voter turnout, any of these races could swing in favor, or against, same-sex marriage. Maryland, Washington, and Maine all seem poised to increase marriage equality. Minnesota is tight, but could go either way. But perhaps the trend will change, and voters will support greater marriage equality.