Gay Marriage | Maggie Gallagher | Maine | News

Maine Update: What's Happening with the Marriage Equality Fight

National Organization for Marriage President Maggie Gallagher expressed confidence over the weekend that anti-gay forces would win in Maine:


“I’m pretty confident that, as in California, we’re going to win. We’re in much better shape in Maine than we were in California at a similar point. We were ten points down on September 1, 2008 and we won. I saw a poll yesterday that had us up two points in Maine.”

She also trashed Equality Maine's ad: “I think that ad is not very effective. I think that’s a very soft-focus, nice, pleasant ad, but I don’t think it changed any minds one way or another. If I was them, I wouldn’t be spending money there.”

Protect Maine Equality is looking for volunteers in the month leading up to the election. Here's how you can get involved.


The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians today asked voters to reject Question 1: "As physicians who care for children and their families, we are committed to supporting what is best for children. And there is no question that when their parents can marry, children are more protected legally and socially. Marriage equality is the right thing for Maine's children, and will strengthen and protect families who have lacked legal recognition for too long,” said Augusta pediatrician Dan Summers. “As pediatricians, we see how supportive parents -- whether gay or straight -- positively impact the development of children. That is why we oppose the referendum that would rescind the law that allows same sex couples to marry."


Portland station WMTW took a closer look at the misleading ad from "traditional marriage" advocates that began running last week which contained this line: "Homosexual marriage taught in public schools whether parents like it. Vote yes on question one." Stand for Marriage Maine's Marc Mutty basically admitted the line was a lie:

"Those who made the commercial said the line in the advertisement is not meant to be taken literally. Instead, it's meant to imply that, in their opinion, if schools currently teach about family life and marriage, discussions about same-sex marriage would likely be included. 'Now, the law says marriage is between party A and B. That is what the school would be obligated to teach,' Mutty said.In terms of teaching about marriage in schools, if the issue of same-sex marriage is part of the lesson plan for sex education classes in older grades, parents can opt out of the classes now, according to Maine law -- and that would not change."

Protect Maine Equality has begun running a radio ad in response to the misinformation and fear-mongering.

Watch WMTW's report and listen to the radio ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

(video via queerty)

Here's the radio ad:

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  1. Why does it seem as if the LGBT folks in Maine are not trying to get the word out?

    Posted by: Bert Nelson | Sep 22, 2009 5:43:07 PM

  2. The people who collected signatures in Maine to stop marriage equality did so by misleading people, lying, and using deception. These people who claim to be "right" or "moral" but then use evil, sinful, lying ways. Here's what one of my friends from Maine told me.

    Sadly "Stand for Marriage Maine" collected many signatures by misleading people to believe they would not be able to vote unless they "registered" with those who were collecting signatures. At the Old Port Festival a woman at the top of Exchange Street was collecting signatures for the vote to ban gay marriage, but she was promoting it as if you were registering to vote. She said "Are you registered votes in Maine would you like to register here?" It was one sentence, she didn’t pause. I asked what we were registering for and she said "To determine if marriage is between a man and a woman or a man and a man or whatever." Then came the best part, she said "Would you like to sign so you can vote?" As if I couldn’t vote if I didn’t sign. She wasn’t telling people that it was a petition to stop gay marriage by putting it to a vote, she was convincing people to sign thinking that they had to or they wouldn’t be allowed to vote. There was nothing that even indicated what or why people where to sign. It’s not about Gay Marriage, it’s about Hate and Control. The fact they collected signatures so quickly only proves they preyed on the elderly and ignorant. This only provides evidence that many Mainers still have much growing up to do.

    Do you really want to support people who lied to you, deceived you, who are trying to force you to spread discrimination and bigotry? Don't let these anti-gay people control your lives and choices. Support marriage equality in Maine and VOTE NO on 1.

    Posted by: shadow_man | Sep 22, 2009 5:50:40 PM

  3. Why voting NO on 1 doesn't affect children.

    Some parents were afraid their children would be taught about gay marriage in our schools. Somehow this would undermine what they teach their children at home and through their respective “churches.” Yet we teach our children that polygamy exists in the world, that other religions exist, even the existence of atheism. Teaching that gay marriage exists is no more an endorsement than teaching about other religions or cultures. How much difference would there be teaching that domestic partnerships/civil unions exist between committed loving couples of the same gender? If people are so insecure in their personal faiths that they feel threatened by the teaching of the existence of other faiths and cultures, then perhaps we should ban from our history and civics courses all references to the diversity of religions and cultures in our world. That would certainly prepare our children for living in a pluralistic society and world.

    Also, why is it wrong? You cannot just ignore a fact of life, that homosexuality is a natural part of life and pretend it doesn't exist. We should be teaching and informing kids of tolerance, and that sexuality is just another part of human life that's not wrong. We should be teaching kids against discrimination and bigotry. We are not teaching them explicit details of gay sex, but the mere fact that gay marriage and homosexuals exist, and are a natural part of society and do harm to no others and aren't wrong.

    Even in places where gay marriage is not legalized, children will learn of gay marriage, through television, internet, friends, etc. If you want to keep them in the dark, you better keep them locked in the closet from the outside world.

    Posted by: shadow_man | Sep 22, 2009 5:51:56 PM

  4. Maggie is right
    These ads are too soft focus. We need to be as aggressive as the other side is. Bash them into the ground. Associate them with all of the hate movements of the past. Let the people of Maine know that NOM is a hate group coming into Maine to impose it's own values there.

    Soft Focus was a major flop in California.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 22, 2009 5:52:57 PM

  5. wish they had more $$ to spend, but so much of it is going to Cleve Jones' last hurrah. Equal rights in Maine dies to serve Cleve Jones' ego

    Posted by: nanker | Sep 22, 2009 6:06:46 PM

  6. except for a couple of broken down revolutionary war muskets i've inherited and have in storage, i've never even seen a gun in person. in my dreams however, i'm in possession of high-tech oozies or whatever the fuck they're called and i take out every single POS on the right that is actively trying to take away gay rights. my rights. i mow 'em down like so many weeds by the side of the road. i hate them with every fiber of my being. somehow yelling at the TV or hitting 'quit' a 100 times in a row when i read something like this online and taking it out on my mouse, doesn't seem to be enough.

    i can dream can't i?

    Posted by: casey | Sep 22, 2009 6:59:14 PM

  7. I honestly don't think the No ads are too soft. The first Yes ad is just barely aggressive and the local news debunks it entirely. An aggressive No ad would just turn voters off--it wouldn't coincide with the "Maine way" of live and let live.

    Posted by: Washington | Sep 22, 2009 7:03:02 PM

  8. Hysteria, Obsession, and Narcissism in the Homophobic Right By Austin Cline,
    Thursday November 16, 2006

    Isn't interesting how often religious conservatives treat homosexuality and gay marriage like they are the most pressing and dangerous issues facing Western culture? Even if we grant, for the sake of argument, that there are legitimate reasons to oppose them and be concerned about them, how can anyone justify acting like they threaten the very foundations of civilization? William Eskridge, a Yale law professor, has written that anti-gay prejudice has been marked historically by three characteristics. These are: (1) “hysterical demonization of gay people as dirty sexualized subhumans”; (2) “obsessional fears of gay people as conspiratorial and sexually predatory”; and (3) “narcissistic desires to reinforce stable heterosexual identity . . . by bashing gay people.” The primary historical traits of homophobia are thus hysteria, obsession, and narcissism.

    Source: IndeGayForum
    It's worth stopping for a moment to consider how these same characteristics are also true when it comes to other demonized minorities. The exact same things could have been said about the hysterical anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany in the first half of the 20th century. Dale Carpenter describes how these three characteristics have been popping up in the context of the Foley scandal...

    Hysterical Demonization:

    We can see the first of these characteristics, hysteria, in some of the reactions to the Foley scandal. “While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two,” declared Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
    What Tony Perkins says isn't true, but it's also not the worst of the accusations which Christain extremists have been hurling at gays. It's frankly no different from when vicious anti-Semites were accusing Jews of killing Christian children in religious rituals, a myth that goes back to the middle ages but which was also used by the Nazis to pave the way for their own anti-Semitic policies.

    Conspiracy of Gays:

    The second characteristic of anti-gay prejudice, obsession, has been on full display. Some Republicans in Congress and religious conservatives told reporters that they suspect a “gay subculture” has infiltrated the party. This “Velvet Mafia”—as some have called it—allegedly consists of a number of gay Republican congressional staffers and other personnel. A conservative website asserted that the gay conspiracy includes nine chiefs of staff, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications for prominent congressional Republicans.
    Once again, there is no evidence for the truth these accusations — but it's easier to accuse gays of these sorts of misdeeds when they have already been the targets of so much demonization over the years than to admit to mistakes on one's own part. Jews, too, were accused of all sorts of anti-German conspiracies; indeed, the idea that Jews threatened to undermine German culture was a primary motivating factor behind a significant amount of the hatred of Jews.

    Sexual Purification:

    Finally, the Foley mess has demonstrated the third characteristic of anti-gay prejudice, narcissism. If the GOP loses one or both houses of Congress in November, one supposed lesson will be that the party was too lenient on homosexuals—turning off the party’s base of religious conservatives. Some thus see the scandal as a chance to cleanse the GOP of the impurity of homosexuality, to reassert the party’s stable, pro-family heterosexual identity.
    The obsession with purity is a common characteristic with fundamentalist and extremist movements. Usually the purity involved is sexual in nature, though some other types appear from time to time. Many are surprised to learn just how much of a role ideas about sexual purity played with the earliest Nazi storm troopers. Their writings contain many images of fear of being overcome with sexual desire, female sexuality, the presence of women, and so forth.

    Extreme homophobia and extreme anti-Semitism have a lot in common because they stem from similar, deep-seated drives in a person's personality. They both involve a need to exclude some minority as violently and absolutely as possible in order to solidify one's own sense of self. A person's identity becomes so bound up with what they are not that everything they do becomes part of denying that Other, even to the point of extermination.

    Posted by: Layla Miller | Sep 22, 2009 8:48:46 PM

  9. Of course Equality Maine will lose the fight. They're fighting NOT to win, but to gain the Moral High Ground. The anti-Marriage Equality side is fighting to win, not gain any brownie points for telling the truth. See how nasty politics is. It's for Adults only. Gay America, guess what? It's time to grow up.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 22, 2009 9:10:33 PM

  10. Are gay people in Maine doing anything? Have gay people gone outside of Portland and actually talked to voters to vote NO on 1? Are gay people outside of Maine doing anything? You know you can help too. Go help NOW!

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 22, 2009 9:20:49 PM

  11. Maggie is right about this. If you are behind in the polls as the No side is, you should go judiciously go for the jugular, pull no punches on the opposition. Soft focus ads do not move people to your side. People have instincts and solid beliefs about gay marriage that need to be rocked by your ads. You don't softly tiptoe and say "pretty please" vote No. The rightwing knows the art of referendum votes and goes for highly charged and emotional appeals, which scare people or make people disgusted about homosexuality. Our side needs to learn that we need to employ the same methods to elicit negative emotional responses against the rightwing, such as strongly suggesting they are hatefilled Nazis out to take away a whole hosts of freedoms and rights. We should find every offensive comment and writing by their leadership and plaster them all over the ads.

    A month ago, Creigh Deeds was 15 points behind the Republican candidate in the VA gubernatorial race. He wisely went way negative on McConnell, detonating ads that exposed his radical writings from college and previous votes. Suddenly, Deeds is almost tied with McConnell. Going hardcore negative works

    Posted by: Luke | Sep 22, 2009 10:10:53 PM

  12. Fuck Gallagher and Fuck NOM. They're headquarterd in New Jersey. Gallagher is nothing but a FAT CUNT carpetbagger riding into Maine to do nothing but stir up trouble in a state that has ALREADY preserved marriage FOR ALL.

    That's Gallagher - making marriage safe ONLY for people like Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

    Stupid ugly heifer.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 22, 2009 10:59:13 PM

  13. sadly i am neither video or internet saavy, but here is my idea for a more hard-hitting ad:

    Zoom in on a man in prison, list his crimes over the image (the more heinous the better). pull back to a lovely prison guard (man or woman) and state that so and so is gay, but cannot legally marry his/her partner of 10 years in 47 states. Now pan back to prisoner and zoom in on a recent photo of him and his new bride on the cell wall. Voiceover: "Maggie Gallagher and her friends have no problem with this man marrying the woman he met 6 weeks ago during a conjugal visit, but aforementioned guard cannot even legally adopt the child he/she has helped raise with his/her partner for the last 10 years." Vote for true love and equality: Vote No on 1.

    Posted by: jonny | Sep 23, 2009 1:13:24 AM

  14. and Jeez, Maggie...step outside, take a're going to kill yourself eating Ben and Jerry's sitting in front of the television watching these pro-gay commercials

    Posted by: jonny | Sep 23, 2009 1:38:52 AM

  15. The exact same process is happening in Maine as in California. The equality side releases tepid ads, and the anti-equality side comes back with lies and strong language. It's like we have no other way of running a campaign. Bye bye, Maine. Maybe we can make New Jersey stick.

    Posted by: Bruno | Sep 23, 2009 3:11:33 AM

  16. I'm not a mainer but is live and let live the creed in Maine or Portland ? If anyone got an answer on that...

    Posted by: Esurnir | Sep 23, 2009 9:27:32 AM

  17. A.) i always almost gouge my eyes out when i see this sea-cow of a woman

    B.) i can't get my head around this school thing. "Gay marriage will be taught in schools." First of all, i never had 'marriage education' in school. i don't think that is a subject. Even if that were the case, that children were taught about gay marriage in schools... so?-- If ! were a racist, i might object to the mention of interracial couples or black suffrage in the classroom, but that wouldn't change the fact that the rational thing to do is to mention it, because it DOES AND SHOULD EXIST.

    Posted by: flucht17 | Sep 23, 2009 10:42:39 AM

  18. Can't you just see Maggie Gallagher during the Salem witch trials, standing in judgement over some victim du jour with her long sleeved, walnut juice dyed, black Pilgrim's dress, save the white collar and cuffs? Her puritanical expression, worn loosely over too tight facial muscles, is a face that has appeared to many throughout the centuries only now, she is the one donning the face of the unmerciful inquisitor. Those who felt it was their calling to burn witches in Salem were so convinced that what they were doing was correct and in line with God's wishes. Little did they know it was a fungus growing in the wheat that caused these "devilish" seizures. The religious hysteria that ensued, due to these ergot poisonings, lead to the deaths of many, in the name of God, of course. For all the pain she's caused, for all of the slanderous accusations of bestialitypolygamypedophilianecrophiliaburglary and any other negatives conjured up to supplement their weak case against our community, she and her brood will be held accountable. Both gay and straight people need to stand up to these hypocrites. Today gays are the target, tomorrow it's whomever else is deemed, "undesirable".

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 23, 2009 11:18:29 AM

  19. Let's create a board game and name it, "Referendum". With just one roll of the dice, rights could be stripped away, NOM-skulls could land in a prized square, a "Family Values" Republican could go down in flames, or an "activist judge" could be appointed to the bench. Oh! You landed on a slippery slope! Guess it's bestiality for you! Put that sheep down! Roll the dice, win a beauty pageant. Roll the dice, your crown gets taken away! Slippery slope, oh!, polygamy, who knew? Roll the dice, the Bishops and priests line up to form a wall, ohhhh, another scandal! Get out of Jail free card. Procure property in Iowa and marry your partner, oh! Nom-skulls show up dressed as Pilgrims breathing fire and beating their sanctimonious breasts on your lawn. When is this game going to be over? Sincerely, 1EqualityUSA

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 23, 2009 11:19:47 AM

  20. The General Accounting Office has identified 1,138 federal benefits and rights to civil marriage, none of which gays and lesbians have. Logically, how is continuing to ban gay families from equal rights going to stop them from having children? They will have children whether or not they are covered by protections enjoyed by the heterosexual couples. All you do when you ban gays from these protections is make it unsafe for "these" children. Is that your desire? Is that what you hope to achieve? Hypocrites! If you really cared about children, you would care for all children. You make me sick!

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 23, 2009 11:22:31 AM

  21. Layla Miller, Fantastic post on hysteria.

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 23, 2009 11:25:07 AM

  22. re: JONNY

    That is a great ad. Send it to whoever makes the commercials.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 23, 2009 11:49:30 AM

  23. "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."

    Iowa's motto should be America's motto. What happened?

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 23, 2009 12:31:56 PM

  24. Gonna lose this one. Dead heat statistically, and the anti-gay vote is always stronger on voting day and the gay vote always weaker. Also will lose Washington. It'll be a rough day, but by 2011 we'll have a real shot.

    Posted by: Yeek | Sep 23, 2009 9:48:02 PM

  25. Dear Yeek, Mainers might surprise you. NOM-skulls are crass and brutal and ecumenical alarmists are nuts and unGodly, however, Mainers might see through it and tell them both to blow off. Hold off thinking negatively.

    "Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

    Posted by: 1equalityUSA | Sep 24, 2009 9:33:39 AM

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