They told us this day would never come. “Not in America,” they said. They were wrong. Tuesday night, voters in Maine, Maryland (and possibly Washington) approved ballot questions legalizing same-sex marriage. In Minnesota, voters—after an 18-month campaign—brought down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. This is just the beginning. In Iowa, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2009, voters retained an Iowa Supreme Court Justice in a race that was heralded (including by yours truly) as a proxy vote on same-sex marriage. The justice was retained by a near 10-point margin. Further, Iowa Democrats actually increased their majority in the Iowa Senate after blocking a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage in early 2011. It is difficult, even amid the elation many of us feel this morning, to overstate how important this is. As we’ve now seen in Minnesota—a solid blue state when it comes to presidential elections, but known to be otherwise socially moderate—along with the victory in Iowa and south of Mason-Dixon line Maryland is no one-off fluke: the legalization of same-sex marriage is now a socially moderate position. This is the triumph of progress.
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