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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maine voters roll back marriage equality

The news was good early on from Maine on Question 1:
Early returns showed a close contest, as had been forecast. With 70 of 608 precincts reporting, the gay-marriage side had 53 percent to 47 percent for the other side.

A vote to uphold the law would mark the first time that the electorate in any state endorsed gay marriage. That could energize activists nationwide and blunt conservative claims that same-sex marriage is largely being foisted on states by judges and that the public is not ready to embrace the idea.
Question 1 is like Proposition 8 last year in California. A no vote preserves marriage equality in America's most northeastern state; a yes vote would roll back the law passed by Maine's legislature earlier this year. So far, No On Question 1 is maintaining its edge, although it's still too close to call.

There are so many people looking for election returns that Bangor Daily News' website is crashing under the load. Real time results unfortunately do not appear to be available directly online from the Maine Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, have passed an ordinance declaring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be illegal.

UPDATE: Late returns have delivered a victory to the forces of bigotry in Maine. It's very sad and very disappointing, but at least Referendum 71 is passing here in Washington State.

The title of this post has been updated to reflect the final outcome. With close to ninety percent of precincts reporting, the total yes vote stands at 52.75% and the no vote on Question 1 stands at 47.25%.

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