Residents in four states will vote on gay marriage initiatives on Tuesday. They will decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal in these states, giving gay rights advocates and their allies a prime opportunity to win for the first time at the ballot box.
The states to decide if gay marriage will become legal are Maryland, Maine, and Washington. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota, but voters will decide if they should use a state constitutional amendment to cement the ban, reports MSN News.
It’s not easy to accurately gauge whether each referendum will bass. This is partially because polling can be spotty and attitudes toward gay rights have been difficult to poll in the past. Despite this, the numbers available suggest that gay-marriage backers may earn at least one state referendum win on Tuesday.
A win would be a massive milestone for the movement. Yahoo! News notes that the general election will most likely not reduce the partisan gridlock in Congress, but a victory for gay marriage advocates could signal a change in the country’s social policy.
Same-sex marriage has been rejected in all 32 states that have held a popular vote in the issue, dating back to 1998. Advocates for gay rights believe, however, that this year will change that.
All four states with same-sex marriage initiatives are expected to be close. Maine’s latest poll showed gay marriage supporters with a 13 percentage point lead. Maine’s referendum came after a petition collected enough signatures. Supporters are hoping to reverse a 2009 referendum that killed a gay marriage law enacted by the state’s legislature.
For both Washington and Maryland, gay marriage laws have been approved by lawmakers and signed by governors. But opponents in both states have gathered enough signatures to challenge these laws.
Gay marriage is already legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but it is possible that three more states will be added to the list on Tuesday.