Gay marriage, recreational pot, porn win

Nov. 7, 2012 at 2:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Voters for the first time approved legal gay marriage in at least two states and voted to legalize recreational pot in Washington and Colorado.

In California, voters rejected an initiative that would have required labeling of most food with genetically engineered ingredients but approved Measure B, legislation to require actors in adult films to use condoms.

The measure, which garnered more than 55 percent support from voters Tuesday, is intended to promote public health and to protect porn actors from sexually transmitted diseases, although opponents said it would force the adult film industry to relocate from the San Fernando Valley.

"The idea of allowing a government employee to come and examine our genitalia while we're on set is atrocious," adult film actress Amber Lynn said Sunday at an anti-Measure B rally in North Hollywood.

The Los Angeles Times said the law would be enforced by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, voters said no to Proposition 37, which would have made California the first state in the nation to require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

After a long string of defeats in state referendums, gay marriage initiatives passed in Maryland and Maine, NBC reported. A similar measure was ahead 52 percent to 48 percent in Washington state with about 60 percent of the ballots counted, The Seattle Times reported. If approved, same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses the first week of December.

In Minnesota, a move to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage was voted down, garnering only 48 percent support from voters, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday.

"Despite the disappointing outcome of this election, we rejoice tonight that marriage is still marriage," John Heimberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, said in a release.

Since the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized gay marriage there in 2004, five states and the District of Columbia have followed suit, through court decisions or legislative action. Until this year, every move to ban gay marriage passed.

"It's something that's going to go down in history as one of the biggest moments for civil rights in this generation," Kort Haven, 26, told the Times, joining an impromptu celebration in Seattle.

Gov. Martin O'Malley hailed the Maryland vote, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"To Maryland's children -- please know that you and your families matter to the people of our state," O'Malley said early Wednesday in a statement. "Whether your parents happen to be gay or straight, Democratic, Republican or Independent, your families are equal before the eyes of the law."

Measures that would allow -- and tax -- small marijuana purchases for recreational use were on the ballot in three states. They were approved in Colorado and Washington, while voters on the other side of the Columbia River in Oregon rejected the idea, NBC reported.

Medicinal pot appeared to be on the way to victory in Massachusetts and to defeat in Arkansas, NBC said.

In Minnesota, a proposed amendment to the state constitution to require voters to present photo ID appeared to be heading for defeat, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. State Rep. Steve Simon, a Democrat from a Minneapolis suburb, said opinion shifted on the proposal as voters considered the cost and other details.

"It looked like a slam dunk even a month or six weeks ago," Simon said.

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