The National Organization for Women is extremely saddened by the rejection of fairness for same-sex couples in Maine, but is cheering a victory in Washington state.
Last May, Maine ended marriage discrimination for same-sex couples by allowing them to marry. Last night, voters rejected that decision by taking away that right.
“This defeat is a painful setback for loving same-sex couples and their families in Maine, but the fight is not over,” says NOW President Terry O’Neill. “NOW activists will continue the struggle to eliminate discrimination and realize the promise of equality and fairness.”
In Washington state, Referendum 71 upholds important legal protections for state-registered domestic partners. The results indicate that Washingtonians came together to support lesbian and gay families.
Referendum 71 enables lesbians and gays to cover their partners with health insurance, take unpaid leave to care for them, and provide death benefits for their children — protections that heterosexual couples take for granted.
Although the legislation in Washington stops short of providing marriage equality, it is an important step forward.