Voters in Maine repealed the state’s same-sex marriage law Tuesday ending the year-long battle which makes Maine the 31st state banning same-sex marriage through public referendum.
The repeal proposal won with a 53 percent vote, according to The New York Times.
Maine, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont joined Massachusetts and Connecticut this year allowing same-sex marriage, but only through court rulings and legislative action.
Some say another effort by the largest gay-rights group using the state-by-state approach ending in another loss should make gay-rights groups focus on reversing a federal ban on same-sex marriage, according to The New York Times. Congress can reverse a federal ban without voter approval. Others say the defeat reveals a need to focus on winning grassroots support.
“It shows we have just not done it long enough and deep enough, even in a place like Maine,” Evan Wolfson, executive director of the national gay-rights group Freedom to Marry, told The New York Times.
Wolfson said the loss in Maine still proves the ideas of the next plan of action should be kept upfront and making gay-rights apparent in all communities.
However, Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organize for Marriage, told The New York Times the defeat is a different kind of sign.
“It interrupts the story line that is being manufactured, that suggests the culture has shifted on gay marriage and the fight is over,” she said. “Maine is one of the most secular states in the nation, it’s socially liberal, they had a three-year head start to build their organization and they outspent us two to one. If they can’t win there, it really does tell you the majority of Americans are not on board with this gay marriage thing.”
New Jersey and New York are the next states up for battle. State governors have been challenging lawmakers to pass same-sex bills by the end of the year. California voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage last November, but supporters of marriage equality are hopeful to reverse the ban by 2012 and begin court lawsuit challenges at the beginning of the year.
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