Round-Up: Newspapers endorse the freedom to marry at the ballot
October 31, 2012
With less than a week before Election Day, when voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will decide on ballot measures concerning the freedom to marry, more newspapers than ever are speaking out for marriage for same-sex couples by officially endorsing the freedom to marry. Here's a round-up of some of the most prominent newspaper endorsements that the marriage
- The New York Times published an editorial yesterday saying, "The freedom to marry is a fundamental right that should not have to be won or defended at the ballot box." The editorial goes on to declare the importance of all four ballot campaigns, writing: "Unfortunately, [ballot initiatives are] the reality of American politics, which is why same-sex marriage measures on the Nov. 6 ballot in Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota could turn out to be pivotal in the struggle for marriage equality." READ THE OPINION.
- The Bangor Daily News published their endorsement yesterday for a Yes vote on Question 1. The paper wrote: "Gay couples in Maine have been patient as the Legislature and voters have debated laws that aimed to give them or take away rights. In 2009, the Legislature voted to make same-sex marriage legal. Maine voters repealed the law that fall, 53 percent to 47 percent. Now, three years later, voters must decide whether their decision then represents what they want now. Maine couples will gain the right to marry if all supporters vote. Please make that effort for the people who want to marry but cannot. ... Voting yes on Question 1 represents commitment to human rights and respect of religious beliefs. History is shining a spotlight on Maine, as potentially the first state to legalize same-sex marriage by a referendum vote driven by proponents. We hope voters affirm Maine as a place where people value the rights of all their neighbors equally." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- The Portland Press Herald voiced their support on October 21. They wrote: "Mindlessly following tradition and denying marriage to same-sex couples does not come close to accomplishing that goal. If we believed that tradition is the only important value, slavery would still exist, women could not vote, children would work in coal mines, segregation would be the law and interracial couples could be denied the right to marry. Breaking with tradition on this issue does not take anything away from families led by a man and a woman, but it would give more Maine children the same benefits of family life that Question 1 opponents say they value." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- The Washington Post asked readers to vote FOR 6 yesterday. They wrote: "By voting for Question 6 next week, Marylanders would ratify the state law allowing gay men and lesbians to wed. We hope they do." READ THE EDITORIAL.
- The Baltimore Sun published its support for Question 6, which would uphold the freedom to marry in the state, in yesterday's paper. The endorsement reads: "Civil unions and domestic partnerships in some states have sought to afford gay families the same packages of rights and benefits as married couples - a difficult and usually incomplete task, given the number of laws that reference marriage in one way or another. But that approach creates two kinds of marriage - one for straight people and one for gay people - and that inevitably relegates same-sex couples to second-class citizenship. Maryland's marriage equality law protects the rights of religious institutions to set their own doctrine and practices, but it also affirms the principle that the state's civil laws should not foster discrimination. Everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law, and for that reason, we urge voters to support Question 6." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- Many other newspapers have expressed their view that voting YES on Question 1 is the right thing to do in Maine. Other papers that have published endorsements include: The Brunswick Times Record, The Seacoast Online, and the University of Maine Orono's school newspaper.
- The Minneapolis Star Tribune published their endorsement on October 22. They wrote: "We'd urge voters to think about the gay or lesbian friend and coworker in the next cubicle, the nice same-sex couple down the street, or the beloved gay family member. They have the same hopes and dreams as heterosexuals, and for many that includes the desire to marry and form a family with the person they love. In our hearts and souls, we Minnesotans are basically fair people who believe in human rights. That fundamental sense of humanity should lead to a "no" vote on the marriage amendment." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- The West Central Tribune voiced their support on October 25. They wrote: ""Approving this marriage amendment will also have a negative impact upon the business climate of our state. A large coalition of Minnesota businesses value the many gay and lesbian couples among their employees and customers and thus oppose this discrimination." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- Over a dozen other newspapers have expressed their view that voting NO on the marriage amendment is the right way for Minnesota to go. Check out this graphic from Minnesotans United for All Families listing other supporters.
- The Seattle Times endorsed Referendum 74, which will uphold marriage for same-sex couples in Washington, on September 15. They wrote: "The public recognizes the right of same-sex couples to marry has no impact on the lives and choices of heterosexual couples. These very personal decisions are driven by the powerful desire to create and nurture loving, supportive relationships and build families. Society benefits. ... Over time, it was apparent that expansions of law that provided for "everything but marriage" were incomplete. The goal, the fullest expression of love, was marriage." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- The Tacoma News Tribune voiced their support on September 16. They wrote: "It is our hope that voters will approve R-74, that they will recognize that this is a basic civil rights issue and that it is wrong to continue denying homosexuals the right to marry the one they love. Yes, they now can enter into civil unions - the so-called "everything but marriage" status granted by the Legislature in 2008. But that second-class status isn't really marriage, and both supporters and opponents know it." READ THE ENDORSEMENT.
- The Spokeman-Review, which serves a less ideologically liberal area of Washington, also voiced their support. The editorial reads: "It's not appropriate for citizens to vote on basic civil rights, but since the question is on the ballot, we hope Washingtonians will affirm the courageous and compassionate law adopted by the Legislature last spring." READ THE EDITORIAL.
- In total, 11 editorial boards in Washington - including The Columbian, The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, The Olympian, The Herald, Tri-City Herald, The Wenatchee World, The Yakima Herald-Republic, and The Kitsap Sub - have published editorials uring Washingtonians to approve Referendum 74. The Seattle Times rounded up the editorials HERE.
Freedom to Marry applauds these newspapers for stepping up and speaking out about the importance of approving the freedom to marry and opposing discrimination at the ballot this November. All of these editorial boards' decisions to publish endorsements or opinions in favor of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage or opposing marriage discrimination represent distinct sections of each state, demonstrating how broad the support for each of the ballot measures runs. These newspapers know that a win for marriage at the ballot would be historic, and they are using their power as the barometer of public opinion to urge voters to think of all loving and committed couples and their families when they step into the voting booth next week.
Read all about the four states facing ballot initiatives HERE.