National polls show increasing acceptance of marriage equality. Proponents have prevailed in court and recent state legislative battles. Still, a stubborn fact remains: When the issue has gone before voters — as it will on Tuesday in North Carolina and this fall in as many as four other states, including Maryland — marriage equality advocates have never won. Since 1998, voters have gone to the polls 31 times to have their say on statewide ballot measures. Advocates for marriage equality have lost every time.
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