Possible Changes in Marriage Equality Options

The coming six months could lead to dramatic reversals — for better or worse — in the realm of marriage equality and domestic partnership laws in Maine, Washington State, Washington D.C. and California.

In Maine, the recently-opened marriage door could slam shut again.  A referendum on the legislative enactment of marriage is on the November ballot, and marriages are on hold until then.  If the voters reject the legislation, Maine residents will revert to marriage-equivalent civil unions, and not full marriage equality.  Similar battles are being fought now in Washington State, where the referendum on the recently-enacted domestic partnership law is likely to be on the ballot in November as well.  There are challenges to the signature count for the referendum, but unless it is thrown out the November vote will be decisive.  As with Maine, if the voters reject the new law Washington residents will still have marriage-equivalent domestic partnership as an option.  In Washington, D.C., there is a push to legalize full marriage, not just marriage-equivalent registration, but Congress has a say over D.C.’s law so this will be a steep mountain to climb.

In California, an initiative to repeal the anti-marriage Proposition 8 might be on the November 2010 ballot, or maybe not until 2012.  Meanwhile, an independent group (represented by Ted Olson & David Boies) has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8 on federal constitutional groups.  A full scale trial on the issues is scheduled for January, and it could well become the “Scopes Trial” of the marriage equality movement.

One Response to “Possible Changes in Marriage Equality Options”

  1. Lurleen Says:

    Referendum 71 in Washington is about our new domestic partnership law, not about marriage. No marriage equality laws have been passed in WA. Washington Families Standing Together (ApproveRef71.org) is the organization dedicated to preserving the new domestic partnership law. Please stop by the website to get the latest information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer.

    Vote “APPROVED” on Ref. 71 to preserve the domestic partnership law!

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