“Justice, Justice shall you pursue,” exhorts Deuteronomy. Today, we woke up in a more just nation, as the four states that voted on marriage equality all chose in favor of extending (or, in the case of Minnesota, not limiting) the civil rights of LGBT Americans. Yes, marriage equality went four-for-four: a clean sweep for justice!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve run posts with words of Torah in favor of marriage equality in the four states where it was on the ballot: Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and Maine. So…nu? How did it all unfold, exactly?
Here’s what happened, state-by-state.
First, Minnesota, the only state which was voting to write a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution (rather than voting on extending the right of marriage to same-sex couples). In Minnesota, the race was called early this morning, with 98 percent of precincts reported: the proposed ban failed, gaining only 48% of the vote. “You dug down and fought for love, with love,” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told cheering crowds, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Minnesota’s Jewish Community Action was one of the first organizations to join Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition dedicated to defeating the ban on marriage equality. Congrats and gratitude to the JCA for all their hard work!
In Maryland, where marriage equality was on the ballot in the form of Question 6, which would either roll back or protect the legislative passage of marriage equality earlier this year, voters passed the measure and ensured marriage equality by the narrow margin of 50.9% to 49.1%. Watch this great video of marriage equality supporters on election night, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun.
Jews United for Justice worked with Jewish communities across Maryland to support Question 6. Kudos to JUFJ for their hard work, and mazal tov on this victory!
In Washington state, where Referendum 74 would have legalized same-sex marriage, ballots are technically still being counted. However, with a majority of votes counted and the initiative ahead, it’s being touted as a win for marriage equality. If the measure has indeed passed, same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses as early as December 6, explains The Seattle Times.
Mainers made history last night, becoming the first state to enact marriage equality by popular vote. As the Portland Press Herald put it, the vote on Question 1 helps “erase the stinging memory of 2009,when a law legalizing same-sex marriage was overturned by Maine voters, 53 percent to 47 percent.” LGBT Mainers should be able to apply for their marriage licenses beginning in January.