Maine Rejects Same-Sex Marriage

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Maine voters rejected a law allowing same-sex couples to marry in a closely fought referendum that saw unexpectedly high turnout.

Rolling back the law is a setback for gay-rights advocates and makes Maine the third state in which residents reversed their government's decision to permit gay marriages, after California and Hawaii.
Same-sex marriage has yet to win a popular vote in any state, despite a recent string of wins in the New England region. The other states that grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont -- have done so via legislative vote or judicial ruling, and New Hampshire will grant such marriages starting in January after a vote by its legislature. The federal government and most other states don't recognize same-sex marriages.

Maine currently grants domestic-partnership status to same-sex couples, along with about seven other states. The state's legislature voted in May to allow gays to marry each other, but an opposition petition campaign led the measure's implementation to be delayed and submitted to a popular referendum Tuesday.

In Washington state, voters appeared poised to approve the expansion of rights granted to gay couples under the state's domestic-partnership registry.

Earlier this year, the state passed a law to expand domestic partnerships to have the same rights as marriages under state law. Early returns showed 51% approving of the expanded status, compared with 49% who voted to reduce the rights of same-sex domestic partners. continues here

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