Ballot Measures: Big Wins for Same-Sex Marriage and Reproductive Rights

Last night was a celebration for feminists on so many levels, nationally and locally. Women’s voices were heard!! Among the most ballot measure victories were the passage of marriage equality-related measures in every state that they were up for a vote, and a solid rejection of anti-abortion Amendment 6 in Florida.

Here is a rundown of some of the measures we’ve been following.”WIN” does not necessarily mean that the measure passed–it signifies simply that Ms. supported it and endorses the outcome of the vote.


Reproductive Rights

Both the Florida and Montana ballots contained legislation attempting to deprive women of their reproductive rights.

Florida: Amendment 6 (harsh anti-abortion legislation) WIN: 66% against; 44% for.

Montana: Legislative Referendum 120 (requiring parental notification before a girl 16 or younger can have an abortion) LOSS: 70% for; 30% against.


Same-Sex Marriage

This election, three state ballots included legislation attempting to legalize same-sex marriage, while the Minnesota ballot included an amendment attempting to ban it (but it still isn’t legal in the state).

Maine: Question 1 WIN: 53% for; 47% against.

Maryland: Question 6 WIN: 51.9% for; 49.1% against.

Minnesota: Proposed Amendment 1 WIN: 51.9% against; 48.1% for.

Washington: Referendum 74 UNOFFICIAL WIN: 51.8% for; 48.2% against.


Health Care

The following states’ ballots all attempted to render ineffective the Affordable Care Act.

Alabama: Amendment 6 LOSS: 58% for; 42% against.

Florida: Amendment 1 WIN: 52% against; 48% for.

Missouri: State Bill 464 (Proposition E) LOSS: nearly 62% for; 38% against.

Montana: Health Care Amendment LOSS: Approved by 2 to 1 margin.

Wyoming: Constitutional Amendment A LOSS: 77% for; 33% against.


Undocumented Immigrants

The Montana and Maryland ballots featured legislation regarding the rights and and statuses of undocumented immigrants.

Montana: Referendum 121 (to require proof of citizenship for state services) LOSS: Approved by massive 4 to 1 margin.

Maryland: Question 4 (in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants) WIN: Approved by nearly 2 to 1 margin.


Jobs, Wages and Economic Policy

Several states proposed legislation regarding affirmative action, teachers’ rights and union workers’ rights.

Oklahoma: State Question 759 (affirmative action ban) LOSS: 59.2% for; 40.8% against.

South Dakota: Referred Law 16 (repeals a law banning tenure of teachers) WIN: 68% against; 32% for.

Montana: Initiative 166 (says corporations are NOT people) WIN: Approved with 3 to 1 support.

California: Proposition 32 (would have prohibited unions from making paycheck deductions for political purposes)  WIN: 60.8% against; 39.8% for.

Alabama: Amendment 7 (requiring secret ballot for union representation) LOSS: 66% for; 34% against.


Civil Rights

The Alabama ballot included an amendment attempting to remove the final Jim Crow provisions from its constitution, and California featured a number of propositions regarding capital punishment, the three strikes law and human trafficking.

Alabama: Amendment 4 (to delete remaining “Jim Crow” provisions) LOSS: 62% against, 38% for.

California: Proposition 34 (would have repealed the death penalty) LOSS: 53.1% against; 46.9% for.

California: Proposition 35 (increases punishment for traffickers) WIN: 81.1% for; 18.9% against.

California: Proposition 36 (reduces “third strike” punishment for non-serious offenses) WIN: 68.8% for; 31.2% against.


Photo via League of Women Voters licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.


Rachel Kassenbrock is a writer who works at the Feminist Majority Foundation and blogs for Ms. Follow her on Twitter at @rkassenbrock.