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Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

How gay marriage fared in elections elsewhere

Not well, but proponents here say Washington will be different

In February, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a law allowing gay and lesbian couples in Washington to marry. It will take effect June 7 unless, as expected, opponents get enough signatures to put the law before voters in November -- with the hope voters will reject it. If opponents qualify Referendum 74, history is on their side. Since 1998, the definition of marriage has been voted on 34 times in this country and not once did voters support same-sex couples. Backers of Washington's law say attitudes are changing and the streak will end this fall. Here's how balloting has gone elsewhere.
StateYearBallot namePurposePlaced on ballot byNature of changeOutcomeYesNo
Alaska1998Measure 2Definition of marriageLegislative referendumConstitutional amendmentPassed68.1%31.9%
Hawaii1998Question 2Give Legislature right to define marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed69.2%28.6%
California2000Proposition 22Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeState lawPassed61.4%38.6%
Nebraska2000Initiative 416Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed67.5%28.8%
Nevada*2000Question 2 (first vote)Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed69.6%30.4%
Nevada*2002Question 2 (passage)Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed67.2%32.8%
Arkansas2004Amendment 3Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed75.0%25.0%
Georgia2004Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed76.2%23.8%
Kentucky2004Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed74.6%25.4%
Louisiana2004Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed77.8%22.2%
Michigan2004Proposal 2Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed58.6%41.4%
Mississippi2004Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed86.0%14.0%
Missouri2004Amendment 2Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed70.6%29.4%
Montana2004Constitutional Initiative 96Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed66.6%33.4%
North Dakota2004Constitutional Measure 1Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed73.2%26.8%
Ohio2004Issue 1Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed61.7%38.3%
Oklahoma2004Question 711Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed75.6%24.4%
Oregon2004Measure 36Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed56.6%43.4%
Utah2004Amendment 3Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed65.9%34.1%
Kansas2005Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislative referendumConstitutional amendmentPassed70.0%30.0%
Texas2005Proposition 2Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed76.3%23.7%
Alabama2006Amendment 774Definition of marriageLegislative referendumConstitutional amendmentPassed81.2%18.8%
Arizona2006Proposition 107Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentFailed48.2%51.8%
Colorado2006Amendment 43Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed55.0%45.0%
Idaho2006House Joint Resolution 2Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed63.4%36.6%
South Carolina2006Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed78.0%22.0%
South Dakota2006Amendment CDefinition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed52.0%48.0%
Tennessee2006Amendment 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed81.3%18.7%
Virginia2006Question 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed57.1%42.9%
Wisconsin2006Question 1Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed59.4%40.6%
Arizona2008Proposition 102Definition of marriageLegislatureConstitutional amendmentPassed56.2%43.8%
California2008Proposition 8Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed52.3%47.7%
Florida2008Proposition 2Definition of marriageCitizen initiativeConstitutional amendmentPassed62.1%37.9%
Maine2009Question 1Repeal same-sex marriage lawPopular referendumState lawPassed52.7%47.3%
* Nevada law requires constitutional amendments be approved in two consecutive general elections. SOURCES: Ballotpedia, National Conference of State Legislatures, Wall Street Journal

More about same-sex-marriage politics

Wall Street Journal interactive map
Freedom to Marry

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