Four years ago, I had my rights taken away by some people who didn’t feel I had the right to marry my long-term partner. They felt that I was not worthy of getting married since I was gay. I live in California, and with Proposition 8 my rights to marry my partner were taken away, just like that. Gay marriage has still not returned to the Golden State, as the whole mess is being held up in the courts, despite a few rulings that have declared it unconstitutional. This fall on Election Day, there are a few measures/initiatives that we need to pay attention to. Let’s make sure the religious right knows that they are on the losing end of this battle.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. The D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage, which was involved in ballot measures that overturned same-sex marriage in California and Maine, will be doing their best to make sure that “traditional” marriage is preserved. In 32 previous elections nationally, same-sex advocates have lost. But with President Obama weighing in with his support of same-sex marriage, and the latest polls showing increased support for it as well — the time is now to make sure everyone can get married.
- Washington — Approve Referendum 74
Referendum 74 was certified for the November ballot in May after gay marriage opponents in the group Preserve Marriage Washington turned in more than 240,000 signatures. The referendum seeks to overturn the gay-marriage law signed in February by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The same-sex marriage law was supposed to take effect June 7 but has been put on hold pending the November vote. An “approve” vote on the referendum upholds the law, and a “reject” vote overturns it. Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, have donated $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washington’s same-sex marriage law after being asked by a former employee if he could help out. To help out, please contact: http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/
- Maryland — Marriage Equality
Maryland passed a bill that would allow for marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples. Additionally, these measures will preserve the religious freedom and liberty of churches and places of worship. Governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law on March 1, 2012. But same-sex marriage opponents have successfully submitted enough signatures to put the measure up for a public vote this November. President Obama’s stance has helped us in the latest polls, and shifted opinion among blacks. To help out, please contact: http://www.equalitymaryland.org/issues/marriage
- Maine — Yes on Marriage Referendum
Voters will decide this November whether to reinstate the marriage equality law that was overturned in a public referendum in 2009. If the referendum receives a majority “yes” vote, Maine will become the first state to pass an initiative introduced by marriage equality supporters. The final wording for the ballot question reads, “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” The citizen’s initiative would allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license in Maine. In addition, it also provides that no clery person or religious institution is required to perform or to host a marriage against his or her religious beliefs. To help out, please contact: http://www.mainersunited.org/. Why Maine is getting a chance, and California is afraid to bring this back to the ballot is beyond me. I bet it is being used as test case of sorts.
- Minnesota — Vote No on Marriage Amendment
The question before voters is: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?” We need to shift the conversation away from being about approval for gay marriage. This Vote asks Minnesotans to write inequality into the constitution, and to carve to stone, discrimination into our state’s most sacred document. The constitution should not be limiting Minnesotans basic human rights. Additionally, to prevent voters from accidentally voting ‘YES’ we must start a trend of getting people to refer to the amendment as the “Marriage Discrimination Amendment,” so they know they are saying ‘NO’ to discrimination. To help out, please contact: https://www.minnesotansforequality.com/
Please do your part for the upcoming election. Our future depends on it.
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Kilts. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.