Early last week, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize gay marriage — the third state to do so since the start of 2013. With gay marriage becoming increasingly accepted across age groups, racial groups, genders, religions, and even political parties and ideology, it is likely that more states are soon to follow. Let’s look at a few of those states:
Chris Christie (pictured) vetoed the legalization of gay marriage in New Jersey last February saying that issues of such importance should be “left to the people of New Jersey to decide.” The legislature has indicated that it plans to override the veto. An override won’t be an easy task, but it seems one that the legislature is up to. It will require 54 votes in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate, and the bill passed with only 42 votes in the Assembly and 24 votes in the Senate. Democrats will have to recruit Republicans to their side in order to make an override successful. While Chris Christie is known for keeping his party in line, the national tide of approval for gay marriage may do the trick. The legislature has until January 2014 to override the veto.
In February, the Illinois Senate passed a bill to legalize gay marriage, but the House has yet to vote on it. Supporters are trying to wrangle up enough votes to secure passage, but have already bagged Gov. Pat Quinn (D) (Pictured above) who said in April that he was “optimistic we’re within striking distance” of legalizing gay marriage. In addition to the swift momentum in the legislature, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties unions are currently each pursuing lawsuits representing same-gender couples in civil unions who seek to prove that their unions are inferior to full marriage. It is likely, however, that the legislature will beat these cases to the punch.
Same sex marriage will be on the ballot late next year in October, and – if passed – would overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Supporters of marriage equality are optimistic given recent polling numbers, which indicate that 49 precent favor marriage equality and 42 percent oppose. As The Daily Kos points out, those numbers are especially encouraging giving the wording of the poll question, which asked specifically whether voters favored overturning the amendment as opposed to a more general question like “Do you favor same-sex marriage?”
Nevada has a long way to go before it legalizes gay marriage. The state’s Senate passed a bill to legalize it in April and has now passed through an Assembly committee, it will need to pass through the lower Assembly where passage is expected. After that, it will need to be approved by the legislature in 2015 and by voters in 2016. If all of that happens, the 2002 constitutional amendment that defined marriage in the state as between one man and one woman would officially be repealed. The road to marriage equality has been an emotional one in the state, especially for Kelvin Atkinson (pictured), a Democratic representative from North Las Vegas, who essentially came out on the Senate floor, declaring “I’m a black, gay male.”