Marriage at the 2012 Ballot

 

On November 6, 2012, residents in four states - Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington - voted on marriage-related ballot initiatives. Freedom to Marry and other marriage advocates pushed harder than ever this year to secure wins in all four states. We were determined to take away the last desperate talking point of the opposition by winning at the ballot and demonstrating that our supporters wee committed to ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. And, after months of hard work, we did it! We emerged victorious from Election 2012 having won ALL FOUR STATES! You can read more about the Election Day victories HERE, or relive the excitement with our Live Blog! And, so you have all of the important information about how the ballot campaigns were run in each state, what the latest news was, and how loving and committed same-sex couples benefited from the wins, we're leaving up this page.   

Maine

Marriage advocates in Maine worked toward a historic move in November by being the first state in the country to pass a proactive law to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. In the past year, Mainers United for Marriage has worked incredibly hard, having conversations with thousands of voters and engaging Mainers from every county of the state. On November 6, Mainers were victorious when a majority of voters cast their ballots for YES on Question 1. Now, same-sex couples will be able to marry in Maine at some point in the next two months, the date of which is yet to be determined. The earliest possible date is December 6, 2012, and the latest is January 6, 2013. READ MORE ABOUT THE VICTORY. 

THE BALLOT MEASURE:  Mainers were asked to vote YES on QUESTION ONE to proactively pass the freedom to marry at the ballot. 

POLLING: A July 2012 poll from The Portland Press Herald found in a survey of Maine voters that 57% of respondents said they support the citizen's initiative in the state to pass the freedom to marry. Only 35% reported that they are opposed to the initiative. 

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Maryland

On March 1, 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the freedom to marry into law after it passed in both houses of the state legislature. Almost immediately after the law was approved, anti-gay activists began collecting signatures to overturn the law. This year, Marylanders for Marriage Equality led the charge to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot, and after months of work, on November 6, they were victorious when a majority of voters cast their ballots FOR Question 6. Maryland will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on January 1, 2013. READ MORE ABOUT THE VICTORY. 

THE BALLOT MEASURE: Marylanders were asked to vote FOR QUESTION SIX to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot. 

POLLING: A May 2012 poll from Public Policy Polling found in a survey of Maryland voters that 57% of respondents said they would vote to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot. Only 37% said they would vote against marriage for all couples. 

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Minnesota

Beginning in May of 2011, Minnesota advocates worked to combat a proposed constitutional amendment that would have constitutionally banned same-sex couples from marrying. Same-sex couples are already excluded from marriage by a state statute passed in 1997 by the state legislature, but the proposed amendment would have forever written marriage discrimination into the Minnesota Constitution. Minnesotans United for All Families led the charge to raise awareness about the amendment and encourage Minnesotans to vote NO on limiting the freedom to marry in the state. They were victorious on November 6, when a majority of Minnesotans voted NO. READ MORE ABOUT THE VICTORY. 

THE BALLOT QUESTION: Minnesotans were asked to vote NO on the proposed constitutional amendment that would have permanently limited the freedom to marry.

POLLING: A June 2012 poll from Public Policy Polling found in a survey of Minnesota voters that 49% of respondents said they oppose the ballot initiative in the state to constitutionally prohibit marriage for same-sex couples in the state. Only 43% reported that they support writing discrimination into the constitution. 

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Washington

On February 13, 2012, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed the freedom to marry into law after it passed with bipartisan support in the state Senate and House of Representatives. Almost immediately after the law was approved, anti-gay activists began collecting signatures to overturn the law. This year, Washington United for Marriage, a broad-based coalition in the state, led the charge to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot. On November 6, they were successful, as voters decided to APPROVE Referendum 74. READ MORE ABOUT THE VICTORY. 

THE BALLOT QUESTION: Washington residents were asked to APPROVE REFERENDUM 74 in order to uphold the freedom to marry for all couples at the ballot. 

RECENT POLLING: A May 2012 poll from the Associated Press and Strategies 360 found in a survey of Washington voters that 55% of respondents said they support the freedom to marry in the state. Only 33% said they would reject the law at the ballot. 

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