Three states to consider reversing gay rights

The AP reports that voters in three states will decide this fall on whether to reverse gay rights initiatives ranging from anti-discrimination measures to marriage benefits.

In Maine, voters will decide whether or not to uphold the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage. In Washington state, a so-called “everything but marriage” law that expands the state’s current domestic partnership law will be on the ballot. And in Kalamazoo, Mich., voters will decide on an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

Washington state, along with California, Oregon, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, have laws that either recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships that afford same-sex couples similar rights to marriage.

While Maine and Washington state will get most of the focus in November’s election, a gay rights ordinance in the southwestern Michigan city of Kalamazoo is getting national attention from groups on both sides as well.

The city’s ordinance, which outlaws employment, housing and public-accommodation discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification, took effect July 9 but was suspended once opponents turned in enough signed petitions to force a public vote.