In this historical election, four states are voting on the rights of same-sex couples to marry. We’ll have more extensive coverage of the results in each state later tonight on this site.
The terms are slightly different in each state, so if you’re voting in one of these four states, here’s a quick breakdown of what each marriage measure means:
Maine: Question 1 reads, “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” Vote “yes” to say you want same-sex couples to be able to marry; vote “no” if you don’t.
Maryland: Question 6 is a referendum to approve or reject the Civil Marriage Protection Act, a measure signed in March giving same-sex couples the right to marry starting in 2013. Vote “for” approving the measure to uphold the act and allow same-sex couples to marry; vote “against” it to strike the act down.
Washington: Referendum 74 is the short name for the Same-Sex Marriage Veto Referendum, a state referendum to approve or reject a bill passed in February legalizing same-sex marriage. If you want to allow same-sex marriage, then check “approve”; “rejecting” the bill will keep same-sex couples from marrying.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Gay Marriage Amendment proposes to amend the constitution so that “only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” It’s worth noting that same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota. Vote “yes” to constitutionally ban same-sex marriages in Minnesota; vote “no” to expand the freedom to marry.
For more information about any of these state measures, check out TheFour2012, a site dedicated to getting out the vote for marriage equality this year. Furthermore, to see if any LGBT people are running for state and national office near you, check out this infographic. (Full disclosure: this graphic is from a project I worked on, but it’s still a great source!)