Maine Just Might Be the Antidote to California

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Marriage just passed in Maine 89 to 57! The mood here in the state house is euphoric. The House vote today is the culmination of three years of planning and hard work. It's a testament to the power of a thoughtful and long-term strategy that has included strong grassroots organizing, aggressive coalition building and extensive communications and public education.

We had strong support in the legislature, including the House Speaker and the Senate President. All of the Senate Democrats but one voted in favor of our bill. Remarkably, one third of the House signed on to the bill as co-sponsors. We had the support of key Republicans on both the Senate and the House side.

The bill now goes to the Governor for signature — and he needs to hear from supporters of marriage equality. You can e-mail him here.

Now, our neighbors in Vermont beat us to the punch in passing marriage through their legislature just a few weeks ago, but Maine is cursed or blessed with something Vermont doesn’t have — a citizen-initiated referendum process. Our opponents have 90 days from the date of adjournment of the legislature to gather just over 55,000 signatures in opposition to the marriage equality legislation. If they are successful, the issue goes to the ballot in November of 2009 or June of 2010, depending upon the speed of signature collection and processing by the Secretary of State.

We see it as an enormous opportunity. We believe Maine voters can and will support marriage for gay and lesbian couples. And that this vote in Maine will be significant in terms of the national movement for equality. Already, we’ve brought together a coalition of over 34 organizations and over 150 Maine clergy working alongside us toward the goal of full equality. At the public hearing on marriage, we outnumbered our opponents by 4 to 1. Already, we’ve identified 25 percent of the voters we need to win a referendum. Now is our chance to make history. And we need your help.

With your support, we can continue the momentum toward marriage equality by building up our team of organizers and getting our message out to the public. We are ready to make history, and we want you to be a part of it.

— By Shenna Bellows (Maine Civil Liberties Union), Betsy Smith (EqualityMaine), Mary Bonauto (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)

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What if they do get the 55,000 signitures and it does go to the ballot. If it loses like it did in California you all will still complain and get your lawery to file some kinda suite against the public and call them raciest. GET OVER IT. Only a small few want gay marriage. Marriage is between a man and a women. Thats it period.


I am sorry but I just don't believe in gay marriage. But I suppose that divorced lawyers are very excited. New revenue for them.


In the event that the Governor signs it and then enough signatures to hold a referendum are obtained, according to, gay marriage would be upheld in Maine.


Rob, with all due respect, it doesn't matter if you or most of the rest of the world don't want gay marriage. Nobody is forcing their beliefs on you, so why do you feel justified in forcing your beliefs on others? If two people of the same sex want to get married let that be their business, not yours.


Givemeabreak, Because you gays are making such a big deal about it and making me have to listen to it. You lost in California GET OVER IT and let it go. Americans do not want gay marriage!


Givemeabreak, Because you gays are making such a big deal about it and making me have to listen to it. You lost in California GET OVER IT and let it go. Americans do not want gay marriage!


You gays? I'm not gay. If I was, I wouldn't be ashamed to admit it. Is there anything else you would like to assume about me? I mean, you don't even know me.

Secondly, this is not a democracy, this is a republic. The majority does not have the right to oppress a peaceful minority.

Dan Ouellette

When people think of marriage, they think of the religious ceremony of marriage performed by the church. But with the separation of church and state, the marriages recognized by our government should have nothing to do with the religious ceremony that the church performs. They should be recognized as what they really are, a legal document filed with the state recognizing the commitment that two people have made to each other.

For those who claim the “sanctity of marriage” argument, you may want to cast the first stone at any of your friends and family members who have had an affair, divorced their spouse, coveted another, or used birth control to stop unwanted pregnancies while married. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, please read your Bible before commenting.

Of that kit kat bar

Well said Givemeabreak. I agree 110%

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