Voters for the first time approved legal gay marriage Tuesday in at least two states and voted to legalize recreational pot in Washington and Colorado
(UPI) -- Voters for the first time approved legal gay marriage Tuesday in at least two states and voted to legalize recreational pot in Washington and Colorado.
After a long string of defeats in state referendums, gay marriage initiatives passed in Maryland and Maine, NBC reported. A similar measure was ahead with 52 percent of the vote in Washington State, The Seattle Times reported.
In Minnesota, a move to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage was voted down, NBC said.
Since the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized gay marriage there in 2004, five states and the District of Columbia have followed suit, through court decisions or legislative action. Until this year, every move to ban gay marriage passed.
"It's something that's going to go down in history as one of the biggest moments for civil rights in this generation," Kort Haven. 26, told the Times, joining an impromptu celebration in Seattle.
Gov. Martin O'Malley hailed the Maryland vote, The Baltimore Sun reported.
"To Maryland's children -- please know that you and your families matter to the people of our state," O'Malley said early Wednesday in a statement. "Whether your parents happen to be gay or straight, Democratic, Republican or Independent, your families are equal before the eyes of the law."
Measures that would allow -- and tax -- small marijuana purchases for recreational use were on the ballot in three states. They were approved in Colorado and Washington, while voters on the other side of the Columbia River in Oregon rejected the idea, NBC reported.
Medicinal pot appeared to be on the way to victory in Massachusetts and to defeat in Arkansas, NBC said.
In Minnesota, a proposed amendment to the state constitution to require voters to present photo ID appeared to be heading for defeat, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. State Rep. Steve Simon, a Democrat from a Minneapolis suburb, said opinion shifted on the proposal as voters considered the cost and other details.
"It looked like a slam dunk even a month or six weeks ago," Simon said.