By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - On Tuesday, gay rights activists broke a 32-state losing streak when Maryland, Maine and Washington approved same sex marriage by popular vote. A legal expert says the momentum building for gay marriage is likely spread to the Delaware Valley.
Twelve years ago, Vermont became the first state to recognize gay marriage through civil unions. Several other states soon followed suit. Then on Tuesday, Maryland, Maine and Washington became the first states to ever approve marriage between same sex couples by popular vote.
"That really is likely to be the wave of the future of this country," says Penn Law Professor Seth Kreimer, who is a civil rights expert.
Listen to Cherri Gregg's full interview with Professor Seth Kreimer in this CBS Philly podcast:
He says gay rights advocates have been working for years, gaining legal ground in the courts, in the legislature and now through referendums. He says that effort is likely to continue in our area.
"In the state of New Jersey, the state has already passed recognition of same sex marriage and Governor Chris Christie vetoed it," says Kreimer. "Delaware, I understand the Governor is very, very supportive and is likely to support it as it advances in the legislature."
In Pennsylvania progression on the measure is behind, but Kreimer says the wins on Election Day, including voters' election of the Commonwealth's first openly gay legislator, could give activists the boost they need to push harder in the keystone state.
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