Finally, after so many losses at state ballot boxes around the country, Minnesota has defeated a discriminatory anti-LGBT constitutional marriage amendment. The amendment, called "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman" was defeated by 51.5% voting against, and 47.3% voting in favor. The remaining 1.2% will presumably also be counted as "no" votes, since any vote that is blank is considered a "no" vote.
This puts Minnesota on the right side of history. It also halts a trend of anti-marriage equality constitutional amendments that have stripped away the protections of marriage protections for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples.
At the same time, Washington's Referendum 74 - which would permit gay and lesbian couples to marry - is currently ahead with 52 percent of the votes. The vote count still incomplete, but things look hopeful there as well. Earlier, Maine and Maryland also passed marriage equality referenda.
"Voters in Minnesota have refused to vote for discrimination against their gay and lesbian friends and families, despite the work of anti-gay activists to spread hurtful misinformation about marriage equality and our families," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Minnesotans heard not only from LGBT people, but faith leaders, athletes, business leaders, and residents from across races and political persuasions who spent countless hours raising support for equality."
Defeating this amendment does not make marriage equality legal in the state. There are still laws on the books that outlaw marriage equality. But this ensures that the topic can be revisited once again.
There are three GLAAD staffers who were born and raised in Minnesota. You can’t imagine what joy we feel that our friends and family have finally halted the tide of anti-LGBT animus through the constitutional process. Those of us from Minnesota know that it’s a unique and special place. A place where people respect one another. Where we care for one another. Where we do not go out of our way to harm one another. This vote demonstrates that statewide commitment to fairness and equality under the law.
It’s time to celebrate with Minnesota.
For more voting information, go to www.glaad.org/vote.