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Vote 'No on 1' Say Two of Maine's Largest Newspapers

Two of Maine's largest newspapers threw their support behind marriage equality in the state in editorials over the weekend.

Wrote the Maine Sunday Telegram:

Maine "Maine statutes use the word 'spouse' 400 times. They use the word 'marital' 600 times. There is virtually no way to surgically carve out and tie together all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in a legal relationship that does what marriage does without calling it marriage. There is also no way to provide the universally understood family status that comes with a marriage contract. Husbands and wives don't need to produce durable powers of attorney or advance directives when they pick up their children from school, visit a hospital room or make decisions at a funeral home. Only same-sex couples are required to produce documents and jump through these legal hoops, and that is not what the equal protection clause in the state constitution promises. Families led by same-sex partners are here now. They are part of our communities and they need and deserve the legal protections – as well as the dignity – that comes with civil marriage status. Maine voters should recognize that even if their personal beliefs about marriage haven't changed, reality has. They should accept reality and vote "no" on Question 1."

And the Bangor Daily News:

Portland "Maine was unusual in passing a law to allow same-sex marriage rather than being required to do so by a court order. Since then, Vermont and New Hampshire have followed suit. Lawmakers, including Gov. John Baldacci — the first governor to sign such legislation into law — moved Maine toward tolerance and fairness. Repealing this law would move the state backward while denying guaranteed rights to a small minority...It is hard to see how allowing more people to marry will weaken marriage. Instead, it seems the strong desire of gay and lesbian couples to be married, rather than declared domestic partners, shows the value and importance of marriage. Voting no on Question 1 will reiterate Maine's commitment to equality and acceptance of families of all types while respecting religious traditions and beliefs."

You can help Protect Maine Equality here. You can also help get out the early vote by assisting with the virtual phonebank.

Mainers in support of marriage equality held a rally in downtown Portland on Sunday. Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. "Maine was unusual in passing a law to allow same-sex marriage rather than being required to do so by a court order. Since then, Vermont and New Hampshire have followed suit. "

    Not true. Vermont was first, and though our Governor vetoed the bill, we overrode him with a 2/3 majority in both houses. Maine and NH approved bills almost two months later, and the only reason Maine's came first was that their Governor signed it immediately.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Oct 19, 2009 12:05:50 PM


  2. "Maine voters should recognize that even if their personal beliefs about marriage haven't changed, reality has."

    Perfection. It simply couldn't have been stated better.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 19, 2009 12:21:07 PM


  3. "Maine and NH approved bills almost two months later, and the only reason Maine's came first was that their Governor signed it immediately."

    Surely if that is the case, then however you spin it, Maine was still indeed first to pass the law (which the article appears to state correctly), whether or not it went through the houses in Vermont first. Not that it matters - it's wonderful that each of these states have achieved what they have, irrespective of opposition!

    Posted by: ST | Oct 19, 2009 12:52:50 PM


  4. "Surely if that is the case, then however you spin it, Maine was still indeed first to pass the law (which the article appears to state correctly), whether or not it went through the houses in Vermont first."

    Kevin wasn't spinning anything, merely setting the record straight. VT was first, and The Bangor Daily News should have known that. The VT's governor's veto of our marriage bill was overridden in April, the Maine bill wasn't passed and signed till a month later.

    But, as you say, that's not the important thing. The important thing is that the papers are standing up for equality and urging voters to vote No on 1. It's significant that the mainstream press is on our side when mainstream national politicians remain squeamish about marriage.

    So we have a little pride in VT for being 1st (we were first with CUs, too), but that doesn't take away from NH and ME's accomplishments. Let's hope Mainers will do the right thing.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 19, 2009 1:15:06 PM


  5. If we can't win a popular vote in Maine, we probably can't win it anywhere (except maybe Vermont).

    Posted by: Bruno | Oct 19, 2009 3:16:48 PM


  6. Maine voters have a checkered history; they overturned anti-discrimination laws before finally supporting the gay rights law in, I believe, 2005. So they did the right thing eventually, but it took a while. Hopefully--with encouragement from these great editorials and a good pro-gay turnout at the polls--they'll do the right thing the first time around on Nov 3.

    We don't have ballot questions in VT, fortunately, so our marriage law won't be put before the voters and doesn't risk being repealed. Polls showed that VTers were in favor of marriage equality, but that doesn't always translate into ballot success.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 19, 2009 3:35:46 PM


  7. The "We were first!" posts are juvenile. Fine if the papers do it, but it's just boasting if you're doing it among other gay people. And to be honest, what significance does it make whether it came from the courts or from legislature? I'd really only begin to boast if it came from/was affirmed by the public, which it seems that Maine will be the first state to do.

    Posted by: Washington | Oct 19, 2009 5:18:44 PM


  8. Hey Washington, cut it out with the boastful juvenile stuff. Those of us in Maine and elsewhere clinging to status by majority vote year after year after year would be just plain boastful if minority rights weren't subjected to majority rule.

    Posted by: Lobsterboy | Oct 19, 2009 8:00:46 PM


  9. "The 'We were first!' posts are juvenile."

    It's not about being boastful about being first, it's simply about being accurate. Pointing out a newspaper's error isn't dissing gay Mainers. We're all on Maine's side, and we all applauded when Maine's legislators did the right thing--same in NH and in the states where the court cases succeeded.

    Maine, unlike VT, has the added burden of having to deal with heinous ballot initiatives--if they win against Question 1 they will get all the credit they deserve, and it will be a positive shift in momentum for the whole marriage equality movement. Each victory is a shared one. And it DOES matter where victories come from (courts, legislature, directly from the people)--not because one deserves more praise than another but because each victory signals something different about the trajectory of the gay civil rights movement. History counts.

    We're rooting for you Maine!

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 19, 2009 9:20:19 PM


  10. IF you want to get married. Don't be fucking gay. Marriage is between and man and a woman. It is facilitated by God and is a part of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, among others.

    If you are gay, just accept the same rights... Asking to marry gay couples is like asking if you can guest lecture quantum physics as a 6th grader. Firstly, it doesn't fit and lastly it shouldn't happen.

    Posted by: BeYou | Nov 3, 2009 5:12:21 PM


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