Gay-marriage vote
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Opponents to same-sex marriage used to whine that the courts had no right to define marriage, only elected legislatures or the people. Then, when some state legislatures granted that right, they claimed that in no instance had the people themselves granted that right.

Now, they've lost that trope. On Tuesday, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved same-sex marriage, joining Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Soon a majority of Americans will live in states that allow same-sex marriage, and states prohibiting it will be seen, rightly, in the same light as states that once banned interracial marriages.

The Supreme Court struck down those miscegenation laws as violating the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." In time, the consensus of Americans and their courts will feel the same about gay marriage.

That voters in three states arrived at that conclusion on one night shows just how close that day is coming.

Meanwhile … in Utah, our benighted Legislature of Mormon patriarchs won't even outlaw discriminating against gays when it comes to housing.

Allen Canfield

Salt Lake City