Statement by Third Way President Jonathan Cowan on the Passage of Marriage for Gay Couples in Maine and Maryland

November 07, 2012

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“Tonight, we have crossed a crucial threshold in our country’s journey on marriage for gay couples: for the first time in history, the people of a state voted directly to allow committed gay and lesbian couples to marry. That means we’ve put our past 0 and 32 record behind us and finally refuted marriage opponents’ constant refrain: that every time marriage has come up for a ballot initiative vote, it has lost. That record of defeat is now relegated to the history books, and we are beginning a new season when marriage can win.

“Progress isn’t often linear—there will still be losses, and even tonight gay and lesbian couples in Minnesota and Washington State are still awaiting a verdict. But there is no doubt that when future Americans look back, they will say that 2012 began a new era when the tide turned and victories began to pile up through legislative votes, ballot initiatives, and the courts. When the Supreme Court considers whether to strike down the “Defense of Marriage Act” as unconstitutional later this term, the Justices will now be certain that they are in a new era—one where the majority of Americans support allowing gay couples to make the promise of lifetime commitment that marriage entails and are willing to pull the lever to support it at the ballot box.”

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