Marriage equality took a giant leap forward on Election Day when, for the first time, voters in three states approved same-sex marriage rights at the ballot. In addition, voters in Minnesota rejected a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.
The results brought the total number of states where same-sex marriage is legal to nine plus D.C.
Same-sex marriage was made legal by referenda in Maryland, Maine and Washington State. The margin of victory in each state was slim; in Maryland, the measure passed with 52.4 percent of the vote.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, praised the wins after the results of the ballot initiatives were announced.
“Our huge, happy and historic wave of wins last night signaled irrefutable momentum for the freedom to marry, with voters joining courts, legislatures and the reelected president of the United States in moving the country toward the right side of history,” Wolfson said.
But those victories came just months after a defeat for LGBT advocates in May when North Carolina approved an amendment banning same-sex marriage.
In the week prior to Election Day, the Obama campaign published a letter in each of three states where marriage equality was on the ballot saying Obama supports the legalization of same-sex marriage in each of the states.
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” said Michael Czin, Northeast regional press secretary for the Obama campaign, in the Portland Press Herald. “The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1.”