Opponents of marriage equality, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), have emphasized lately that they believe the issue of same-sex marriage should be put to a popular vote. Besides an excuse to completely cede responsibility for the matter, the argument also calls into question whether society benefits by advancing civil rights through referenda.
BuzzFeed took a look at where states stood on past civil rights issues to show how differently history would have played out if the same methodology had been applied to them. Here are maps that show how divided states were on slavery, women’s suffrage, integrated education, and interracial marriage before national decisions advanced those issues, and finally, where they currently stand on recognizing same-sex relationships (click each to see them full-size) (HT: Unicorn Booty):