It doesn't seem possible, but 4 years have really passed since Proposition 8 was approved by the voters of California. Every leftie liberals happy day as Obama was originally elected was given a little dent.
Now it wasn't all bad. We got Prop 8: The Musical, which has Kathy Najimy in it. That almost made it all worth it.
I jest, of course, but it was US election day yesterday and, along with the Presidential election and various other federal and state elections, there were 4 states holding marriage equality pertinent votes.
In Maine an initiative to introduce marriage equality (into a state that had previously voted it down in a referendum) was put to the voters. In Washington and Maryland successful legislation was put to a popular vote before being implemented. In Minnesota there was an attempt to constitutionally redefine marriage as between a man and a woman.
In Maine the initiative passed, finally bringing to an end NOM's argument against marriage equality; "Gay marriage has never been approved in a referendum of the people!".
The earliest gay and lesbian couples could marry will likely be early January. The Secretary of State's Office has 20 days to certify results, Gov. Paul LePage has 10 days to approve them, and after that, there's a constitutionally mandated 30-day waiting period for the law to take effect, according to the Secretary of State's Office.The opponents in Maine have conceded.
In Maryland marriage equality was approved (I highly recommend the video on that link) and marriages should begin in January 2013.
In Minnesota the attempt to ban equal marriage was defeated in a closely fought contest. Despite this not having any material effects on the lives of Minnesotan LGBT folk, it does have the feeling of being a watershed moment. It feels like the turning of the tide.
The results are still not fully in for Washington. At the half way mark, the yes to marriage equality side are winning but it's close and there are no guarantees. Looking at the breakdown I think there are still a fair few anti-equality votes to come in. But if it is successful Washington will become the 9th state of the Union to approve marriage equality (almost 20%!) and marriages could start as early as December the 6th!
Meanwhile in Europe....
Yesterday Spain Constitutional Court upheld marriage equality in the country after a challenge from members of the ruling People's Party. In France the French Cabinet has approved a marriage equality and adoption bill for debate in January 2013.
And then in Australia....
Slightly more frivolous stuff but last night Big Brother viewers chose the latest Australian winner and he promptly proposed to his boyfriend live on air (his boyfriend said yes!). Hopefully this will raise the profile of the campaign for marriage equality there.
But wait there is more....
Remember Prop 8? Well it was overturned by the courts in California as being unconstitutional. It has made its way slowly up the chain and on November 20th it (along with several other equal marriage cases) will be considered by the United States Supreme Court. We should hear on November 26th if they make a decision and if so what that might be.
A lot has changed in 4 years. Let's hope it keeps on changing.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist