In Washington, polls show Referendum 71, which would enshrine in law full marriage rights (domestic partnerships) without applying the word marriage to homosexual couples, is likely to pass. The Seattle Times recently reported that people are confused about the initiative — some gay rights activists see it as second class citizenship while some opponents of same-sex marriage do not want to extend the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples. Indeed, it will be difficult to tell what victory or defeat means in terms of measuring public attitudes toward gay marriage or gay rights including adoption and inheritance rights. Last week Starbucks joined other Washington state-based corporations in publicly supporting Referendum 71. Previously Boeing, Nike, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, RealNetworks and Vulcan have backed the initiative.

Polls in Maine show that a referendum seeking to repeal a law passed earlier this year to recognize same-sex marriage is too close to call. If Maine voters vote for repeal they will be the first to endorse same-sex marriage in a referendum. The Washington Post reports that both sides consider this battle critical, with the victors emboldened to push the issue harder and the losers, especially if it the gay rights activists, likely to try new strategies including court challenges.