This last election day was truly historic for LGBT Americans. First of all, the first sitting President in our history to support and endorse same sex marriage was re-elected for a second term. Add that to the fact that he’s also the first African American President and it’s even more powerful. Also, for the first time in our nation’s history, same sex marriage was approved by citizens through a ballot measure in Maine. There were three other same sex marriage victories that day, including Minnesota refusing to allow discrimination to be written into their state’s constitution. As if that wasn’t enough, several LGBT Americans were elected or re-elected to government office, including Tammy Baldwin as the first out lesbian to be elected to the Senate and Mark Takano, the first out person of color to be elected to office.
So when do these new laws take effect and what about California, which may have same sex back in effect before the end of this month? We turn to AFER, the American Foundation for Equal Rights for the answers…
Here’s when gay and lesbian couples in each state can get married:
December 6 at the earliest. This date may change. The initiative goes into effect 30 days after the governor makes a “public proclamation of the result of the vote,” within 10 days after the result has been determined.
January 1, 2013. This date was included in the original legislation passed by the state’s General Assembly, which was approved by voters.
December 6. All referendums that are approved by voters in the Evergreen State go into effect 30 days after the election.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of AFER’s challenge to Prop. 8 on Tuesday, November 20. An announcement is expected by Monday, November 26.
If the Supreme Court hears AFER’s challenge, AFER attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies will make the case for marriage equality to the nation’s highest court. A final decision is expected by June 2013.
Or, if the Justices decide not to hear the case, the Ninth Circuit decision that ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional will be made permanent, with marriages starting as soon as the Ninth Circuit issues its mandate, likely within several days after the Supreme Court denies review.