Voters, lawmakers to take up gay marriage

Jan. 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Several states will take up the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage, whether in the statehouse or on the voting both, a survey indicated.

Democratic governors of Maryland and Washington state pledged to push for legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages in their states -- prompting opponents to vow to mount a challenge via referendum in November, reported Thursday.

"It's time, it's the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it," Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said recently.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley also pledged to renew efforts this year after a measure to legalize same-sex marriage fell short and was withdrawn last year.

In November, voters in Minnesota will see a proposed constitutional amendment from the Legislature that would define marriage as the union between a man and woman. While constitutional amendment legislation can't vetoed, Gov. Mark Dayton last year issued a "symbolic veto" of the measure.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and the District of Columbia, have laws legalizing same-sex marriage.

During the Republican primary in May, North Carolina voters will consider a similar from the state Legislature that would bars civil unions and domestic partnerships. Unlike marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships are invalid beyond the state in which they are granted except in states that expressly accept them, reported, a non-partisan, non-profit news service of the Pew Center on the States in Washington.

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