At the same time California’s Proposition 8 appears headed to the Supreme Court, there has been legislative progress in three states for supporters of same-sex marriage. Bills that would redefine marriage to include same-sex couples have passed in Washington and New Jersey while advancing in Maryland. Washington’s Democratic governor signed the bill into law to take effect June 7; Maryland’s governor will follow suit. Chris Christie vetoed the New Jersey bill.
Christie is calling for a referendum on marriage. Similar ballot initiatives are possible in Washington, where an effort is already underway to overturn the new law, and Maryland, where the same-sex marriage bill has been amended to leave time for a referendum on the issue. When Maine’s legislature passed and the governor signed such legislation, the voters overturned it. Same-sex marriage has yet to prevail on a statewide ballot.