Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times / Associated Press
Two states, Washington and Maryland, approved same-sex marriage in November. Meanwhile, Minnesota -- home of evangelical firebrand/wingnut Rep. Michele Bachmann -- rejected a measure similar to California's Proposition 8 that would have defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This brings the count to nine states that have legalized gay unions; California may be next, depending on the outcome of a closely watched case recently taken up by the Supreme Court.
As an electorate trained to fear and mock homosexuals ages and is replaced by more tolerant younger voters, this is a trend that will snowball. Greater equality -- and, perhaps, a new sense of understanding and sensitivity about unconventional lifestyles -- will break out all over.
Above: A same-sex couple is seen before attending a midnight wedding ceremony at the Seattle Yacht Club on Dec. 9.