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Hopes soar for advocates of same-sex marriage

PORTLAND, Maine — Elated by their first ballot victories — in four states — advocates of same-sex marriage rights plan to push legislatures in half a dozen more states toward legalization as they also press their cause in federal courts.

They are also preparing for what they hope will be another milestone: the electoral reversal of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, in Oregon in 2014.

Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized same-sex marriage. Now rights campaigners see the potential for legislative gains in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island and Minnesota, where they beat back a restrictive amendment last Tuesday, and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in February.

A rapid shift in public opinion is bolstering their cause as more people grow used to the idea of same-sex marriage and become acquainted with openly gay people and couples.

The most ardent opponents of same-sex marriage, led by evangelical Christians and the Roman Catholic Church, say they do not believe that the national tide has shifted against them.

Hopes soar for advocates of same-sex marriage 11/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, November 12, 2012 10:01pm]
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