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Abortion Rights Initiatives Victory; Gay Rights Losses

As of noon today, Maine’s Measure 6, a referendum that would make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal, was narrowly defeated 51 percent against the anti-discrimination measure and 49 percent in favor of it. A 21-point Gender Gap played a crucial role in this referendum with 38 percent of men voting against and 59 percent of women voting for the anti-discrimination initiative. Anti-gay initiatives in both Nebraska and Nevada that would ban gay marriage in the state received strong support. Nevada saw 70 percent for the ban, 30 against, and in Nebraska 71 percent of voters were for the ban, 29 against. Seven percent fewer women voted for the ban than did men.

Measure 9 in Oregon, an anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender measure that prohibits “school instruction encouraging, promoting, or sanctioning homosexual, bisexual behaviors,” is still up in the air with 51 percent against the ban and 49 percent supporting the ban; 81 percent of precincts tallied. Colorado voters rejected Amendment 25, which would impose a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking abortions. Voters in California and Michigan also rejected referenda on vouchers for private schools. And voters in Alabama lifted a near century-old unenforceable ban on marriage between interracial people.

Sources:

CNN _ November 8, 2000; New York Times _ November 8, 2000; Feminist Majority Foundation; Washington Post _ November 8, 2000