Marriage equality advocates, coming off their first ballot-box victories, are targeting New Jersey and five other U.S. states where the road to legalization is simpler because voters can’t overturn laws through referendums.
In Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island, lawmakers plan to consider or revisit the issue next year, and all except Minnesota already allow civil unions. Even though they prevailed in votes in four states Nov. 6 after a decade of defeats, backers say they prefer to make marriage equality legal through legislatures or courts.
“Where we’re going next are states where we can win in the legislature,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director at Freedom to Marry, a New York-based group that helps and funds local gay-rights organizations. “The ballot, without question, is not our preferred route because we fundamentally don’t think it’s appropriate for the public to be voting on the rights of gay people or other minority groups.”