JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Missouri voters solidly endorsed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a decision closely watched by national groups on both sides of the battle.
With nearly all precincts reporting, the amendment had garnered 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results for Tuesdays vote. It was the first such vote since the historic ruling in Massachusetts last year that legalized same-sex weddings there. Although the ban was widely expected to pass in conservative Missouri, experts said the campaign served as a barometer for which strategies work as at least nine other states, and perhaps as many as 12, vote on similar amendments this year.
Missouri and 37 other states already have laws defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. But supporters of the amendment fear a court could toss aside the state law, and they believe the state would be on firmer legal ground if a ban is part of the Constitution.
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