Mega Marriage Equality Update: NC, PA, ME, WA, NH, MD, MN

A round-up of the marriage equality news we've been tracking this week.


A battle to defeat Amendment One is engaged, organized, and underway, but needs financial support. Protect All NC Families is spearheading the campaign, which this week received support from the state's Libertarian Party, and will get a visit from Prop 8-battling attorney Ted Olson in April. Activists opposed to the measure held a rally and march in Raleigh. Find out how you can help HERE.


An amendment to ban same-sex marriage was withdrawn from consideration on Tuesday by the House State Government Committee.


The Maine House of Representatives voted unanimously Tuesday morning to indefinitely postpone a same-sex marriage bill, which has the effect of sending it directly to voters. The measure will appear on the November ballot and supporters are optimistic that it will pass.


A Thurston County judge approved language for Referendum 74, which would appear on the state's ballot should opponents of same-sex marriage succeed in collecting nearly 121,000 signatures by June 6. The language does not contain the phrase "redefine marriage", which is good news for pro-equality advocates.


GOP Rep. David Bates introduced a bill that would repeal the state's marriage equality law by replacing it with civil unions, and then allow the voters to decide afterward whether they like that or not. The bill is set for a vote next Wednesday. State Rep. Seth Cohn says he plans to offer an amendment to that bill barring two left-handed people from marrying.


Marriage equality opponents launched a petition drive on Wednesday to overturn the recently passed law. They must collect 56,000 signatures to bring the law to referendum on the November ballot.


Former Vice President Walter Mondale and Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz have signed their names to a campaign letter for Lawyers United for All Families, a group working to fight the anti-gay marriage amendment that will appear before voters in November. Said Mondale: "Our constitution is a hard-earned gift from those who preceded us, and an enduring promise to those who will follow us. It should be used to protect individual liberty, not to take it away."


  1. Randy says

    Seven states in which marriage equality will be before the voters. That’s a huge burden for NOM to contend with — they will have to spread their resources quite thinly, and they still have make public all their donors. The situation has changed considerably from a few years ago.

    Plus, the Catholic Church has now made the contraception issue it’s top issue. Which means that marriage equality, while still in the top three, will be necessarily given less attention. They have to fight the health care issue of contraception, more attempts to make them accountable regarding their pedophilia scandal, fight close more churches in light of declining attendance and fight marriage equality. Doesn’t leave them much room to breath.

    If we win just two or three ballot initiatives, that will prove a huge boost to our side. I dont’ think this was part of the Karl Rove’s strategy when he declared war on gays to get Bush elected!

  2. Patric says

    “GOP Rep. David Bates introduced a bill that would repeal the state’s marriage equality law by replacing it with civil unions, and then allow the voters to decide afterward whether they like that or not.” What a horrible description of what the Bates bill would actually do. It sounds as if it might have been written by Bates himself. Bates is flailing as his efforts at a clean repeal are floundering and his latest effort is born of that desperation. However, as much as he wants to gain additional support for his efforts by deceiving people into thinking that his revised bill would “allow the voters to decide” whether repeal is effective or not, in fact his bill only calls for a completely meaningless, non-binding referendum. You can be assured that his plan is to pick up additional votes for repeal with this ruse, allow a non-binding vote this November which will most likely show that New Hampshire voters prefer to preserve marriage equality (even though the wording of the referendum is designed to bolster the anti-equality side) and then ignore that vote by allowing the repeal to take effect. Your description of his bill’s provisions is misleading and plays right into his intended deception.

  3. Ken says

    Seems unlikely the New Hampshire bill will pass with enough votes to override a veto. So we should have 5 marriage related ballot measures this year, 3 of which would legalize same sex marriage if we win. This is progress because in the past ballot measures only made what was already illegal even more illegal. NC is probably a lost cause since it will be done with the low turn out GOP primary, but I beleive the other 4 are winnable with a good campaign.

  4. Patric says

    Ken, I agree that North Carolina is likely the most challenging of these contests for pro-equality forces – – and I also agree that the likely competitiveness of the Republican presidential primary the same day doesn’t help us, but a recent poll suggested some hope for our side. Also, we were probably helped when the incumbent Democratic governor announced in January that she won’t seek re-election, thus meaning that Democrats will also likely have a competitie primary occurring on that day so that it won’t be only conseratives heading to the polls. Of course, the assistant director of the recent encouraging poll said it all when she cautioned that “the outcome of low turnout primaries are heavily dependent on which side can rally their supporters to the voting booths.” As always, to have a shot, we need to get anti-discrimination voters to the polls because the haters will surely turn out their voters.

  5. Tim NC says

    You have your info on NC wrong. Ted Olson hasn’t had his visit this week as you report. He will be coming to NC in April to work against the amendment.

  6. Tim NC says

    Ken, as Patric says, you need to update your information. In NC there will also be a democratic primary for the Governor’s race. So, there will be incentive for democrats to get out to vote. Maybe more so than the republicans who may have finalized their candidate by May 8th.

  7. Julia says

    The amendment will pass in NC overwhelmingly. The Elon Poll does not even ask about this specific ballot question; it asks about same-sex marriage at large in a fairly biased manner. Every other pollster who uses the actual ballot language shows the amendment passing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope it fails – but I’m being realistic in saying that it will probably get at least 60% support. I also think the amendment will pass in MN, and that MD will reject gay marriage. I do think WA and ME are our best chances and that it could go either way in both places.

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