States approve laws permitting same-sex marriage
Published: November 7, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Voters in Maine and Maryland approved ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage Nov. 6, and a similar measure appeared likely to pass in Washington state. In Minnesota voters rejected a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as only a union between a man and woman. Minnesota's action does not make same-sex marriage immediately possible. There is still a state law banning it, but by rejecting the constitutional amendment, voters cleared the way for the Legislature or courts to permit such marriages. Maryland and Washington voters upheld laws permitting same-sex marriage that were passed earlier in the year by their legislatures and signed by their governors, but challenged in the referendum process. Thirty other states have passed laws prohibiting such marriages. Previously six states and the District of Columbia had allowed same-sex marriages through legislative action and court rulings. Voters in Maine approved a referendum authorizing same-sex marriage, a measure that bypassed courts and the Legislature, and reversed a 2009 referendum to ban such unions. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, called for renewed efforts to strengthen and protect marriage and family life and expressed gratitude to marriage protection supporters. Election Day was a disappointing one for marriage, he said. "The meaning of marriage, though, cannot be redefined because it lies within our very nature. No matter what policy, law or judicial decision is put into place, marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union," he said. "It is either this, or it is nothing at all. In a society marked by increasing poverty and family fragmentation, marriage needs to be strengthened, promoted, and defended, not redefined." He said he prayed "political leaders, judges, and all people will seek to honor this foundational and common sense truth of marriage."
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