Marriage, Maps and Maine

The first marriages of same-sex couples in Vermont last Tuesday were just the impetus I needed to finish up our new marriage laws and relationship recognition maps. relationship recognition mapLike a 5-year-old with a new pack of crayons, I happily filled in states with blue (the color for marriage), green (for New York and D.C., which recognize out-of-state marriages) and yellow (the color of “all-but-the-name” civil unions and domestic partnerships, which grant the same rights and responsibilities as marriage). Even the grey states — which have some sort of “less-than-marriage” relationship recognition for same-sex couples — were satisfying, since adding them meant that there’s almost no region of the country without a state that recognizes our relationships. (Sorry Southerners, but you’ll get there!)

Then, after the burst of satisfaction, there was anxiety. What kind of crazy person could get anxious coloring in a map, you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you who: Me. And I’ll tell you why: The asterisks.

I had to add asterisks to the map to note the two states — Maine and Washington — where recognition granted to same-sex relationships will be up for a popular vote in November. Similar to what happened in California last year, voters in these two states could take back the progress that their legislatures made in the march towards equality. The asterisks mean that two big steps forward could wind up being two big steps back.

So these asterisks on my new map are giving me agita (and will until I’m watching the election results come in on November 3), but they’re also a challenge to each of us. These two elections don’t have to be a repeat of Prop 8. The Maine Civil Liberties Union is part of a coalition of groups fighting to keep marriage in Maine. They’re encouraging supporters of equality everywhere to take a “volunteer vacation” this fall and go to Maine to work on the campaign. Washington Families Standing Together, the coalition of groups (including the ACLU of Washington State) working to retain comprehensive domestic partnerships, is also looking for volunteers support. If you can’t make it to either corner of the country, the campaigns could use your financial support. (While you’re at it, encourage your friends to give as well!)

Losing marriage in California was a huge disappointment for our community, but the progress in Maine and Washington (not to mention Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and Nevada) have helped us regain our footing and realize that we’re still moving forward. Let’s not let our new progress become the next setback. Contact one of the campaigns today and find out what you can do to get involved. I promise you this: On November 3, you’ll be glad you did.

View comments (17)
Read the Terms of Use


My only problem is the cost to corporations to cover the cost of all partners, let alone opposite sex. But hell, let the feds. pay for our lifestyle. I believe 90% are born with same sex desires; and the 10% are prison related, and experimenting girls. I may be wrong; but so what. Why change the definition of old words to suit afew; and altering the description of other events to be comforting to all. Too thin skinned and sensative.


Actually, domestic partnerships in California DON'T receive all the same rights married couples do. There are 1,138 rights domestic partners don't have the married couples do. The California Code states that domestic partners have the same rights as married spouses, but in practice these rights aren't protected. In CA we're still fighting for marriage equality--not just a name, but over 1,000 rights.


It's good to see people standing up for equal rights for all.It's just too bad that so many gutless politicians try
to sit on the fence with their seperate but equal proposals for civil union.


Maybe they are against gay marriage. It doesnt mean their gutless. Adam and Eve, no Adam and steve....


When will you people be happy? When Satan starts walking on the face of the earth? If marriage was meant to be between members of the same sex then we would have been created as asexual creatures that can procreate. There is nothing moral about your decision to go against that of God's. He gives us free choice but that should not mean that you translate that to pushing your immoral behavior and promoting it as ok. The mentatlity that there are others that share my views does not make those views correct. There is right and there is wrong and just because you do not believe that or you believe that something wrong is right does not entitle you to going against the natural order of things. Quit justifying your immoral behavior.


I see now what this organization is about...breaking down morals one way or another. Really sad and horrible. You will see in the end what your efforts has done.


Next step: bring back traditional marriage! I'd like to see some color on THAT map as well.


aclu.... u really are such peaces of shit


Yawn the wing nuts are reciting the same old bigoted rubbish as all the other brainless sheep.It's too bad that
they don't try thinking for themselves rather than letting Fox News and their T.V. evangilist do it for them.


Well, here we go again. I am not against same sex marriages, per se, but why won't the ACLU promote traditional marriages as well. What happened to seeing both sides of the coin? Is the ACLU only for the little guy, the ones who are minorities? White men are minorities, in today's world. Traditional marriages are a minority in todays world. Believing in God is in minority in todays world. Will the ACLU take on their causes as well?


Stay Informed