Gay activists hopeful in Colo., S.D., Wis.

By Kavan Peterson,
Staff Writer

After a series of stinging judicial defeats for same-sex marriage this summer, both sides of the issue are looking to November's elections as a test of how far public attitudes have changed toward gay couples.
For the first time, gay marriage advocates see a chance in at least two states -- South Dakota and Wisconsin -- to vote down proposed constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage. Colorado may be offering voters a chance to ban gay marriage but at the same time adopt a first-ever ballot measure that would legally sanction gay and lesbian relationships and offer them most of the benefits of marriage.

Since the historic Massachusetts high court ruling in November 2003 legalizing same-sex weddings, gay marriage supporters have suffered a steady drubbing. A backlash since the Massachusetts ruling spurred 16 states so far to adopt constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, bringing to 20 the state constitutions that limit unions to a man and woman.

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