Gay rights advocates won five major victories across the United States yesterday. Wisconsin elected America's first openly gay Senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Maryland voted to affirm a same-sex marriage act the state legislature approved earlier this year. Ballots are still coming in, but Washington is expected to approve a similar measure. In Maine, voters approved gay marriage by popular vote, making it one of the first states to do so. Minnesota also shot down an amendment to ban gay marriage in the state's constitution, paving the way for passage down the road*.
Here's the new state of marriage equality in the US:
Eleven states now allow gay couples to enjoy the same civil rights as straight couples, and activists say the tides against same-sex marriage are turning. Matt McTighe, campaign manager of Mainers United for Marriage, told The Los Angeles Times: "You can change hearts and minds, there is a way to do it. We have the playbook and it's something that can be utilized in any state."
*Correction: A previous version of this map stated that Minnesota had approved gay marriage. In fact, state voters blocked a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and gay marriage is still illegal in the state.