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With Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) signing of SB 10 last week, his state became the 16th to legalize same-sex marriage. But that action may have marked a major turn in the battle over the issue. This year five states with Democrat-controlled legislatures — Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island — passed bills legalizing same-sex marriage. The bills were all happily signed by the states' Democratic or independent governors. But none of the 34 states where same-sex marriages are still prohibited by law are wholly dominated by Democrats, with the exception of West Virginia, which has a tradition of social conservatism. That means advocates for gay marriage "have run out of easy targets," according to Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. With most of the remaining states either having constitutional bans on gay marriages or significant popular opposition to them, he said, the "false narrative of 'inevitability' ends here." Gay marriage advocates reject the characterization of their victories as "easy" and say they plan to be active in several states next year, including Indiana and Oregon. There's "a shifting landscape" on marriage, said Brian Silva, executive director of Marriage Equality USA. "When we provide education, when we talk to people, when we live our lives out loud, we're finding that in states from Iowa to Illinois, from coast to coast, we are winning because people respond to family," he said. (WASHINGTON TIMES, STATE NET)
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