The Corner

Gay Marriage Momentum in Context

The recent legislative redefinitions of marriage in Vermont, Maine, and possibly New Hampshire (where the governor’s signature is still not on the bill) are certainly sobering for those who continue to believe that marriage is about more than adult desires; more sobering than the wild and unaccountable decision of the Iowa Supreme Court and similar court rulings in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Some context is necessary, though. Since 1998, thirty states have added marriage amendments to their state constitutions. The amendments have not been the product of any coordinated effort by national groups, many have been underfunded, and they have been approved in a variety of states including California, Montana, and Oregon. In contrast, during that same period, the legislatures of three states (including NH) with majorities of one political party in their legislatures have voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

Power politics may currently be undermining marriage in the Northeast, but there’s no reason to believe this blip is an unstoppable trend.


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