Supporters of same-sex marriage have reason to cheer after last week’s election. Supporters of democratic self-government, even those of us who oppose gay marriage, do too.
On Nov. 6, for the first time ever, voters in three states — Maine, Maryland, and Washington — redefined marriage by popular vote. In Minnesota, residents said no to a constitutional amendment enshrining the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is no denying the significance of these results: Previously the issue had gone to the ballot in 32 states, and in all 32 same-sex marriage was defeated. Gay-marriage advocates have insisted for years that it is outrageous to put what they consider a question of civil rights to a vote, but going 4-0 on Election Day presumably made the outrage easier to swallow.