2012 Ballot State Stories
On November 6, 2012, voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington voted on marriage-related ballot measures - and in all four races, the freedom to marry triumphed. Same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland, and Washington won the freedom to marry at the ballot for the very first time, and Minnesota defeated an anti-gay constitutional amendment that would have permanently limited the freedom to marry. In the months leading up to Election Day, we profiled loving adn committed same-sex couples from each state. Read more about the ballot initiatives HERE, and see additional couples HERE.
Corianton Hale and Keith Bacon
December has always been a big month for Corianton Hale and Keith Bacon from Seattle, Washington. It's the month that they had their first date and their first kiss - in December 2006 at a holiday-themed rock concert. It's the month that they got engaged while vacationing in Palm Springs. And it will be the month that their six-year relationship finally receives the respect it deserves when they get married in Washington state. Here, the couple shares their story using photos from their August wedding ceremony. Read More about Corianton and Keith.
Jessica Chipoco and Lindsey Dawson
Lindsey and Jessica already have their wedding plans decided for March 2013 - they'll marry just a quick walk away from their hiking trail, at an outdoor retreat location in the woods in Maryland. But they want their perfect ceremony in Maryland by their special place to be their only ceremony - that is, they don't want to drive to Washington, D.C., where same-sex couples have had the freedom to marry since 2010, just to file paperwork demonstrating their love and commitment. Read More about Jessica and Lindsey.
Sarah Dowling and Linda Wolfe
Sarah and Linda want their home state of Maine to respect their 18 years of love in the same way it respects love between different-sex couples. "We've been through the 'For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health' thing that wedded couples go through," Sarah said, noting, "We're still waiting on the 'for richer' part, by the way." Read More about Sarah and Linda.
Jim Lawser and Duane Bandel
Since 1990, Jim and Duane have been living together in their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They're one of thousands of couples who would be affected by a proposed constitutional amendment that would permanently limit the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state. They married on their 20th anniversary in Vancouver, Canada, but they want to get married someday here in the states - and they certainly don't want their state constitution to prohibit the freedom to marry. Read More about Jim and Duane.
Colleen Ozolitis and Lee Ann Martinson
Colleen and Lee Ann will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary on October 16. And now, they're getting excited at the future prospect of celebrating anniversaries of their wedding day in Washington. They envision their wedding day here as simple: Just a trip to the court house with some family members and with their son. "We want to feel that validation," Colleen said. "We want to feel that experience - that it's legal, and that we're able to do that in a place that represents so much to us." Read More about Colleen and Lee Ann.
Lakisha Smith and ShaDonna Jackson
Lakisha and ShaDonna are working on a personal level to discuss the issue with their loved ones. They want to understand their family members' and friends' feelings about Question 6 in Maryland because at some point soon, they plan on getting married, and when they do, they want their marriage to be respected by the state they call home. Read more about ShaDonna and Lakisha.
Casey Fritz and Eric Sodemann
In September, Casey and Eric, who have been together in Minneapolis, Minnesota for five years, crossed the state borders into Iowa to get married. Now, they don't want to see their state enshrine discrimination against same-sex couples in the state constitution. Read more about Casey and Eric.
Beth Allen and Valerie Frey
Beth and her partner Valerie have been together for five years. They live in Fletcher's Landing Township, Maine with two children. Beth and Valerie know that they want to get married - but they've only spoken sparingly about specifics for a wedding, not willing to jinx the upward momentum the Maine campaign has seen this year. The one thing they have definitely decided, however, is that they want to get married in Maine, the place where they've made their home. Read more about Beth and Valerie.
Bobbi and Jen Buchman
On November 19, 2011, Jen and Bobbi got married in Baltimore. Despite the wonderful celebration, Jen and Bobbi understand that their wedding and their marriage are not legally respected in Maryland. Jen and Bobbi hope that the people of Maryland will vote FOR Question 6. They hope that soon, they can apply for a valid marriage license, turn their marriage into one respected by their state, and enjoy the same protections and responsibilities that marriage affords different-sex married couples in Maryland. Read More about Bobbi and Jen.
Pablo Monroy and Derrick Peacock
On August 11, 2011, Pablo and Derrick got married in Washington, and now they want to ensure that their marriage will be protected under the law. Pablo is a first-generation American serving in the Army National Guard - and a Republican - and he proudly married his long-time partner Derrick in a beautiful summer ceremony. Pablo said: "Even when I was growing up I wanted to get married, settle down, have a family…white picket fence. And even after I realized I was gay I still wanted that, with whoever I loved." Read More about Pablo and Derrick.
Jo Deutsch and Teresa Williams
For Jo and Teresa, who have been together for 29 years, the freedom to marry in Maryland really does matter. Beyond the necessary protections that marriage would provide, they know that Maryland is their home. "It's significant that our children were born here," Teresa said. "It's significant that this is where we've made our home. We are part of this community and we want to be treated equally here." Read More about Jo and Teresa.
Andy Willenbring and Nick Pautzke
In the past year, Nick and Andy, have seen their 14-year relationship thrust in the middle of a state-wide conversation about same-sex couples and the freedom to marry. Now, the couple is speaking out against discriminatory amendment in Minnesota and sharing their story about why marriage matters. Read More about Andy and Nick.