How gay marriage fared in elections elsewhere

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.

State Year Ballot name Purpose Placed on ballot by Nature of change Outcome Yes No
Alaska 1998 Measure 2 Definition of marriage Legislative referendum Constitutional amendment Passed 68.1% 31.9%
Hawaii 1998 Question 2 Give Legislature right to define marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 69.2% 28.6%
California 2000 Proposition 22 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative State law Passed 61.4% 38.6%
Nebraska 2000 Initiative 416 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 67.5% 28.8%
Nevada* 2000 Question 2 (first vote) Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 69.6% 30.4%
Nevada* 2002 Question 2 (passage) Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 67.2% 32.8%
Arkansas 2004 Amendment 3 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 75.0% 25.0%
Georgia 2004 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 76.2% 23.8%
Kentucky 2004 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 74.6% 25.4%
Louisiana 2004 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 77.8% 22.2%
Michigan 2004 Proposal 2 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 58.6% 41.4%
Mississippi 2004 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 86.0% 14.0%
Missouri 2004 Amendment 2 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 70.6% 29.4%
Montana 2004 Constitutional Initiative 96 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 66.6% 33.4%
North Dakota 2004 Constitutional Measure 1 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 73.2% 26.8%
Ohio 2004 Issue 1 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 61.7% 38.3%
Oklahoma 2004 Question 711 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 75.6% 24.4%
Oregon 2004 Measure 36 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 56.6% 43.4%
Utah 2004 Amendment 3 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 65.9% 34.1%
Kansas 2005 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislative referendum Constitutional amendment Passed 70.0% 30.0%
Texas 2005 Proposition 2 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 76.3% 23.7%
Alabama 2006 Amendment 774 Definition of marriage Legislative referendum Constitutional amendment Passed 81.2% 18.8%
Arizona 2006 Proposition 107 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Failed 48.2% 51.8%
Colorado 2006 Amendment 43 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 55.0% 45.0%
Idaho 2006 House Joint Resolution 2 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 63.4% 36.6%
South Carolina 2006 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 78.0% 22.0%
South Dakota 2006 Amendment C Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 52.0% 48.0%
Tennessee 2006 Amendment 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 81.3% 18.7%
Virginia 2006 Question 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 57.1% 42.9%
Wisconsin 2006 Question 1 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 59.4% 40.6%
Arizona 2008 Proposition 102 Definition of marriage Legislature Constitutional amendment Passed 56.2% 43.8%
California 2008 Proposition 8 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 52.3% 47.7%
Florida 2008 Proposition 2 Definition of marriage Citizen initiative Constitutional amendment Passed 62.1% 37.9%
Maine 2009 Question 1 Repeal same-sex marriage law Popular referendum State law Passed 52.7% 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

Ballotpedia

Freedom to Marry

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