In the previous decade, sensing a trend in state courts and legislatures granting same-sex marriages, opponents got voters in 31 states to amend their state constitutions to outlaw same-sex marriages. In 2004, Oregon voters constitutionally defined marriage as between a man and a woman, the same year Utahns did, too.
Last November, for the first time, it was voters who approved same-sex marriages in Maine, Maryland and Washington, joining six other states whose courts or legislatures had granted that fundamental human right. But no state with a constitutional ban has reversed itself.
Oregon could be the first state where voters jettison the ban they put in place. Fifty-four percent of Oregon voters now believe same-sex marriage should be legal. A petition drive undoubtedly will put the issue before voters once again in 2014.
With a similar petition movement in Ohio, with the Illinois Legislature on the verge of legalizing same-sex marriages, with seven additional states granting full marriage rights in civil unions, and with Rhode Island recognizing gay marriages performed in other states — the wall of prejudice is crumbling fast.
Meanwhile, here in Utah, we won’t even say that gays should not be discriminated against in housing and employment. Incredible.
Brandon T. Sullivan
Salt Lake City
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