The final vote count is in from Washington state, and marriage equality won.
Washington voters have narrowly approved same-sex marriage, completing a four-state sweep of victories on Election Day by marriage-equality advocates. Before Tuesday, gay marriage had never won a statewide vote anywhere in America.
On Thursday, opponents conceded.
“With additional results showing that we have not closed the gap, it now appears clear that Referendum 74 will be narrowly approved,” Joseph Backholm, head of Preserve Marriage Washington, said in a statement. “We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated.”
Bolstered by getting two-thirds of the vote in populous King County, Ref. 74 held a 96,000 vote lead as of mid-afternoon Thursday. It was capturing 51.96 percent of the vote, to 48.04 percent opposed.
Zach Silk, campaign manager for the pro-R-74 group Washington United for Marriage, called Thursday a “historic day” for the state, nation and “for families across the state of have dreamed of this day.”
So that makes it Maine, Maryland, and Washington that actually voted to approve marriage equality, while Minnesota defeated a measure to ban it from their state constitution.
The tide, as they say, is turning. Up to now, marriage equality has never won in a referendum; in fact, Maine voters rescinded the state law passed by the legislature in 2009, and the anti-equality folks never let us hear the end of it. Their line was that neither the state or the courts had the right to “impose” it on the people (no, I’m not going for the “shove it down our throats” metaphor), and if the voters had the choice, they would defeat it. Well, to quote Mona Lisa Vito, I guess that point is moot.
I am waiting to see if one of the losing factions goes to court to try to overturn the election, thus completing the cycle of surrealism.