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Tony Perkins and Evan Wolfson Debate Maine Marriage Vote

Accmaine

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry joined Anderson Cooper last night to discuss the marriage defeat in Maine.

WOLFSON: Well, what happened is it's very difficult for a minority to persuade a majority to stop discriminating. And we came very close to persuading people in Maine to uphold the freedom to marry but didn't reach everybody in particularly the more rural corners of the state with the conversations, with the personal stories, with the making it real that we need to do in order to move hearts and minds. And we need to keep doing that work.

PERKINS: Well, this is unique, Anderson. This was the 31st state where voters have had the chance, they have stood for traditional marriage. But what's different here is you had a legislature that had special interest money come in, make some moves in the legislature. The legislature then created same-sex marriage. The first time we've had a legislature create it, followed by a vote of the people that have repudiated what the legislature did. That's very significant, because this law had been passed. It was in a completely defensive posture, they had to go out and work to overturn what the legislature had done. That's significant. And also, it's significant, because I can imagine as a former legislator what some of the conversations were in Maine today. These legislators who voted for this and in their districts, the voters went to the polls and overturned it. There's now an infrastructure there and there could be some political fallout to this.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Sometimes it's not about money. Even if we had 20 times the amount of money of the other side, it probably wouldn't have made a difference. We're the underdog no matter what. Remember, a couple of years ago we just squeaked by in getting discrimination protections.

    The No One 1 campaign was immaculate. They worked extremely hard and if they had taken another approach, I think we would have lost by an even wider margin. Some people said our ads weren't strong enough, I disagree, you have to look at the entire picture, ads don't make a campaign, they support it. Our ads were coupled with hundreds of thousands of phone calls in which volunteers tried to appeal to the senses of Mainers. That was the hallmark of this campaign here and I'm sure it'll be used again in future ones.

    No state has done this before, I just don't think it is possible to do yet. We have to keep working. We did really well here, twice the expected voter turn-out, that's amazing! Some places ran out of ballots and had to use photocopies.

    Come on, we're making progress.

    Posted by: Washington | Nov 5, 2009 7:49:52 AM


  2. I disagree; sometimes it does pay to get down and dirty like they have. Fight Fire with Fire...they've used lie after lie and scare after scare tactics every time; and every time they've won. Lets be honest americans have become numb and gullible to not thinking for themselves and realizing that when they punched YES on question 1 or punched YES on question 8 it's because they were scared into believing that there rights were going to be affected or that we were going to be in there kids school.
    It amazes that no one doesnt see the fact that there using there kids to perpetuate there own hate?
    When is the GLBT community going to wake up and stop being the pansies that the homophobic society has labeled us. When is the GLBT community going to wake up and start coming outta the F'n closet.
    We had allot of allies working hard standing with us...I didnt see Ellen up there I didnt HRC up there...I didnt see GLAAD up there? What I did see was straight allies and people from the religious side standing up for EQUALITY...we need to create more allies for our fight and go into there churches and into the senior citizen homes and let them know that were are all EQUAL. TAXATION WITH OUT REPRESENTATION....that should be our motto...before the TEA BAGGERS take that line too. Just like they took tea bagging...

    Posted by: xman | Nov 5, 2009 9:02:46 AM


  3. It's truly pathetic to watch Cooper sit there and feign "objectivity."

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 5, 2009 9:08:18 AM


  4. I like the report and the comments so far. I'm no Sunshine Cadet, but Jesus, who would have dreamed 10 years or less ago we'd be within a few points of having ANY state vote yes on marriage equality? I thought No On 1 did a great job, but the votes are not there. YET. This is the problem with the state-by-state tactic. However, there is NO WAY we'll ever get to a point where there are enough progressives in in government and in the White House to give us equality on marriage, so there are two realistic routes: state-by-state (time-consuming, expensive) or a sweeping Supreme Court decision. We might get that Court decision with the case that's coming up...or we might get smacked down. But either way, we should take heart and keep the fight up state-by-state because it's only winning people to our side rather quickly, and if the Supremes come through we'll need support to keep people from losing their shit and if the Supremes fail us it'll be back to state-by-state anyway.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Nov 5, 2009 10:05:09 AM


  5. I agree it is amazing how much progress has been made. It's hard to believe, but as recently as 1989, the voters in the city of San Francisco repealed a city domestic partnership ordinance -- not even marriage, just a largely symbolic DP law. We have made amazing strides and now we just have to convince that last 5 percent or so who have been so hard to reach. I am happy to see that we are not seeing the fury directed at No on 1 in Maine that we saw directed (unfairly in my opinion) at No on 8 in California. Maybe now people will see that this is not a problem that admits of a quick or easy solution. We just have to dig in and do the hard work of showing our families and friends why equality is important.

    Posted by: Z | Nov 5, 2009 12:15:27 PM


  6. "It's truly pathetic to watch Cooper sit there and feign "objectivity.""

    Gay journalists can approach gay legal and policy issues objectively in their work. The assumption they are unable to do that is part of the reason many feel the need to stay in the closet.

    Anderson Cooper doesn't acknowledge that gay marriage has anything to do with him personally if that's what you mean. None of the gays on CNN do. I don't know whether any of them have any personal interest in marrying but I would predict with about 100% certainty AC does not.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 5, 2009 2:51:20 PM


  7. Opposite-sex relationships are more useful to society than same-sex relationships,and governments have a responsibility to guarantee that opposite-sex relationships get better treatment.Right and wrong are not "equal",and standards of conduct are not "bigotry" against those inclined (regardless of reason) to violate them.And I am a Democrat who has never been religious.

    Posted by: Louis E. | Nov 5, 2009 2:57:34 PM


  8. That is ridiculous, Louis. White people generate more wealth and hold vastly more prominent social, political and business positions than black people. By your logic we would conclude white people are more useful to society than black people so the government has a responsibility to guarantee white people get better treatment.

    And those same arguments you are laying down there were made against inter-racial marriage (i.e. "It's not bigotry that we are barring these pairs of consenting adults from the legal rights and protections and social institution of marriage. Inter-racial marriage is improper conduct, it's bad for children, it's wrong and socially unacceptable."). The course of history has judged the people making those arguments to be wrong, unjust and suffering from bigotry and it will judge you the same.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 5, 2009 4:18:56 PM


  9. Louise wrote, "Opposite-sex relationships are more useful to society than same-sex relationships"

    Please justify that that statement. And if you're going to justify that by saying that opposite-sex relationships result in reproduction -- no, not all of them do. We do not require people to have children if they are married, and there are many heterosexual couples who have no plans to have children, or no ability to have children due to infertility. A large and easily identifiable class of infertile heterosexual couples is any couple where the woman is over the age of menopause. But you don't prohibit non-fertile heterosexual couples, or couples that don't plan on having children, from getting married. So why do you prohibit same-sex couples from getting married on the grounds of fertility?

    And why are we talking about fertility, anyway? Isn't the more important aspect of marriage that it provides a stable environment for children to be raised in? Wouldn't it benefit the kids being raised by same-sex couples if their parents were allowed to be married?

    Louise also wrote "standards of conduct are not "bigotry" against those inclined (regardless of reason)"

    I suppose you mean to imply by this that gay people are violating some sort of standard of conduct. What standard of conduct would that be? And what is the justification for that standard? Surely you cannot mean that _all_ standards of conduct are self-justified.

    Posted by: esurience | Nov 5, 2009 5:07:37 PM


  10. If you think the opposition is going to play nice for one minute you F'd

    Posted by: paublo | Nov 5, 2009 5:40:18 PM


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