Maine voters approved gay marriage Nov. 6 through a historic public vote, the Associated Press is reporting.
The Portland Press Herald has additional information on what Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin hailed as a "landmark" move. As of press time, Maine had voted 54 to 46 percent in favor of marriage equality.
"We are thrilled for all Maine families and for the dedicated campaign that led this effort through to the end," Griffin said in an email statement. "As we celebrate victory tonight we know we have added momentum to ensure that this victory is soon felt in every corner of this country."
Marriage equality opponents have previously expressed concern that if the measure passed, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates will cite Maine as an example that public opinion on same-sex marriage has shifted over the years, according to the Associated Press.
Among those to criticize "Question 1" was State Representative David Johnson (R-Eddington), who even drew on the memory of his gay brother, who died in April, in clarifying his opposition. "It has taken me a while, but I have finally figured out that God’s plan is better than man’s plan in all aspects of life," he is quoted as saying. "He constructed marriage this way for a reason."
Still, LGBT advocates had repeatedly expressed confidence that marriage equality in Maine would pass, particularly given the state's New England location (New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts have all legalized same-sex marriage).
In other big wins for marriage equality, Maryland also legalized gay marriage on Tuesday and Washington made it official on November 7, due to the state's mail-in voting system, which required a bit more time for an official tally to be determined. In Minnesota, voters shot down a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union only between a man and a woman.