Minnesota Voters Reject Amendment Banning Gay Marriage; Washington’s R-74 Likely to Pass

We won 4 out of 4

MNMinnesota voters yesterday rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage:

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, amendment supporters had garnered 1,374,189 votes, or 48 percent. That was short of the 50 percent or greater total needed to approve the amendment.

"No" votes stood at 1,479,829, or 51 percent. Blank ballots – which equaled a "no" vote – totaled 33,876, or about 1 percent.

According to exit poll data, the marriage ban was opposed by a majority of women and backed by a majority of men. Votes were also divided by age, with voters under 50 against it by a substantial majority and those over 50 strongly in favor. Seven in 10 voters who attend religious services, and four in five born-again or evangelical voters supported it. The vote also split by party lines: three in four Democrats said they voted against it, and three in four Republicans backed it.

WAAnd Washington's Referendum 74 looks likely to pass, though final word has not yet been given. With 1,887,094 votes counted, 52% approve to 48% oppose.

The holdup was King County, which still had tons of ballots to count. Still, with 65 percent of King County voters approving R-74 in the initial count, and that trend likely to continue through the full count, seasoned political watchers were predicting victory. "Fifty-two percent, with King County what it is—it's still time to call Washington State for marriage equality," said Governor Chris Gregoire.

Similarly, Matt Barreto, who runs the Washington Poll, projected that R-74 would be approved and added that he expected Jay Inslee to be the next governor. "King County delivered both," Barreto said.

This was an election night that LGBT equality has never seen. For the first time ever, measures on marriage equality succeeded at the ballot.

With the Maryland and Maine wins this was unprecedented.

NOM, who can no longer say we've "lost every time" when same-sex marriage measures have been put before voters, must by crying into their Cheerios this morning. They are finished.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen – all the folks on the campaigns out there and everyone who supported them.


  1. UFFDA says

    I can’t help it, I’m going to say it again and again, here in Seattle I’m gloating on a cloud.

  2. Dave in PA says

    UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE!! I am so happy at work today – 4 out of 4 and Obama re-elected was better than I could have hoped for. My coworkers are largely Romney supporters so I’m having some fun today!

  3. BEAHBEAH says

    I never thought we had a shot in hell in MN. Cannot believe the final results. I never thought we would finish four for four, ecstatic right now! It just goes to show that the tide is turning. I can’t wait to see what NOM has to say about this.

  4. endo says

    I really feel like this moment is the turning point in the gay marriage debate… federal marriage equality is truly inevitable now, it’s only a matter of when.

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard people say that the Supreme Court won’t (and shouldn’t!) take it up until there’s real momentum and a cultural shift taking place. It feels like we’ve reached that point.

    I’d be curious to know how the gay marriage landscape as of this morning compares to the miscegenation laws just prior to Loving v. Virginia.

  5. Dominic says

    All we need now is the final nail in the coffin for Proposition 8 later this month, and gay marriage to make it’s return to California.

    What a superb year for gay rights!

  6. Caliban says


    This is so HUGE. Right now I don’t even care what the a-holes at NOM have to say, though I’m sure it’ll be hateful and nasty since that’s their stock in trade.

    Michele Bachmann’s reelection was the only dark cloud on an otherwise luminous night.

  7. Brian says

    The Republican party bosses have to be praying for the supreme court to throw out DOMA. They know it’s a stinker political issue but their religious base will never let them drop the issue. If the court kills it, they can just issue a press release decrying judicial activism, then try and leave this mess behind them.

  8. Amen says

    If you add the loss of the recall of Judge Wiggins in Iowa — and assuming the Washington ballot goes as projected — NOM will have lost 5 out of 5. All their donors’ money went for naught.

    A true CATASTROPHE for NOM.

    Peter LaBarbera and the Westboro Baptist Church can’t be happy either.

  9. BABH says

    It looks like we’re 5 for 5: important to note that Justice Wiggins of Iowa also won re-election despite a massive NOM campaign to unseat him.

  10. Rick says

    I’m still somewhat in shock. 4 for 4. Obama. Baldwin. Wiggins retained. Someone pinch me.

    NOM has been very silent. Their talking points spontaneously combusted.

  11. says

    So Happy!
    After waking up I had to find out if Obama won (went to bed as late as possible but OH was not called yet) Then I wanted to know about these 4 votes. So grateful for Towleroad and being able to find out with one click!

  12. Mike in the Tundra says

    Apparently, Frank Schubert’s filthy lies have lost their ability to influence voters. Oh happy day!

  13. LHN says

    Frank Schubert just had his head handed to him on a platter–my dreams have come true! 0-4 in this election. What’s next for Mission Possible LLC? Maybe time to re-think the strategic vision for that pathetic business.

    Good bye Frank, Maggie, and Brian! Don’t let the door slam you on the way out…

  14. Bill S. says

    There are two very important points that I have not seen the gay news sites reporting.

    1. Democrats retain their control of the Iowa state Senate. Therefore, an anti-gay constitutional amendment will not be put to a vote their next term either. I think the earliest people could possibly vote on this now would be like 2018.

    2. Control of both houses of the Minnesota state legislature has flipped to the Democrats, who may be inclined to legalize equal marriage given tonight’s vote.

    In 2013 I think we can expect to see California and Minnesota legalize equal marriage, as well as possibly Illinois. This will be 13 states, or 1/4 of all states with other potential victories not too far off in Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, and Hawaii.

  15. Diogenes Arktos says

    After some well-earned rest, let’s campaign to overturn the law denying us marriage equality while we have the momentum. And such a great ally like Chris Kluwe.

  16. Rafael says

    What a away to celebrate my birthday!

    To NOM supporters: your dollars along with your hate are going down the drain.

  17. Mary says

    A great night. I was truly surprised about Minnesota and Maryland, although I expected a win in Washington and Maine. Everyone here is entitled to enjoy this victory and celebrate. But I disagree that the Supreme Court should step in on this issue. Now that equality IS winning at the ballot box it makes perfect sense to let the issue play itself out. The other side can still make the “unelected judges” argument and it can come back to haunt you at a later date. The more certain eventual victory looks, the less reason there is to take unnecessary risk. Congrats to all the couples who will now be able to marry.

  18. AJ says

    I am so overjoyed and relieved. I have been alternately crying and laughing today. It feels like a dream. My favorite moment on my commute here in MN was watching a Vote No Wrapped car go past me blasting Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” with two dudes dancing and singing in their seats.

    The other enormous victory in MN is that the Repugs lost HUGE in our state and the fktards that put BOTH of these amendments in front of us are vastly outnumbered now. TAKE THAT!!

    The only dark cloud I see on the horizon is that wedding planning may be looming in my future. I HATE WEDDINGS! LOL

  19. EchtKultig says

    Maggie just hoovered her third can of Pringles – and that’s just counting from this morning.

  20. says

    A great day for equality, and a true turning point. NOM coffers will grow increasingly empty. Fear mongering isn’t a sure bet for the anti-gay dinosaurs now.

    @Mary: The Supreme Court is not going to “step in” on this issue and wave some magic wand. They will have the opportunity to take up (or not take up–they decide later this month) specific cases involving the constitutionality of DOMA and Prop 8. Section 3 of DOMA has repeatedly been found unconstitutional, even before these popular victories. So stop the “come back to haunt you” nonsense. DOMA should go before the SC because it is clearly unconstitutional.

  21. e.c. says

    At best I was hoping that the Minnesota amendment would only be a technical “win” if it could fail to get a plurality of the vote. For it actually go down with 51% opposing has almost restored my faith in humanity.

  22. Bill says

    Maggie’s gonna be diving into a couple of buckets of kfc to drown her sorrows. Her crony Brian will be cruising the rest stops with all those other closet cases .

  23. Bruno says

    I’d just like to mention that the PPP polls were deadly accurate. What a fantastic night for civil rights.

  24. Ken says

    Don’t know if anyone else mentioned this but it also appears the Democrats will take back control of the Minnesota legislature! Given the clear rejection of the amendment, I hope we get a bill next year legalizing same sex marriage in Minnesota.

  25. Randy says

    Congratulations! I’m pretty sure this is a first not just within the USA, but around the world, right? I don’t think marriage equality has even been put to non-binding referenda anywhere else. Does someone know?

  26. Bill says

    I hate to disagree with Andy’s assessment of NOM where he wrote, “They are finished,” but that is a bad assumption to make – NOM will be causing trouble as long as it has enough of a budget to keep Maggie fed and clothed.

    I do think the votes show that we are very close to the point where public opinion will start to accelerate in a favorable direction – as the string of failures for NOM et al. increase, those organizations will have more and more trouble attracting funding, so we’ll see less anti-gay propaganda being widely disseminated. But they are not finished – they will continue to be a nuisance.

  27. Luke says


    Registered partnerships have been put to referenda in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The 2005 Swiss referendum was won with 58 % of the votes, and the 2011 Liechtenstein referendum was won with 69 % of the votes.

    Federal-level marriage equality or its equivalent has still not been put to a referendum anywhere; because of DOMA, same-sex married couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington won’t enjoy the same rights as their different-sex counterparts.

    By the way, this is not the first time marriage equality comes to Washington. The Washington-based Suquamish Tribe legalized same-sex marriage in 2011.