While much of the attention in Tuesday's (6 November) Us election will be focused on the race between presidential candidates Barack and Obama and Mitt Romney, history is on the verge of being made in the states of Maryland and Maine.
Those are two of the four states (Washington and Minnesota are the others) voting on gay marriage ballot measures and the two that polls show are most likely to achieve victory for the LGBT community and its allies.
This would mark the first time that the pro-gay marriage side won a vote of the public in any of the US states.
'Whether or not there should be civil rights for gay people should not be on the ballot, but we’re participating because it is, and that’s the law,' gay-rights activist Richard Socarides tells Politico.com. 'If even in this environment we still lost all four of those, it would be a significant setback and we would have to re-evaluate the state by state strategy.'
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, has led the expensive fight against gay marriage and said even if Maine and Maryland do achieve historic wins, NOM's efforts will have been successful.
'Even if we lose one or two, given what we’re up against, that will still be a strong showing on our part because these are difficult states,' he says. 'We’ve already won all of the states where we could just get signatures and get on the ballot … these are definitely not conservative states.'
The other states in the US already allowing gay marriage are New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia.