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1,530 Same-Sex Couples Married In Maine Since Voters Passed Question 1

Snell

Since Maine legalized same-sex marriage last year by a voter referendum known as "Question 1," joining Maryland and Washington to become the first states to allow gay couples to marry by way of ballot measure, over 1,500 same-sex couples in the state have been wed, according to the AP:

Ian Grady, of EqualityMaine, which led the referendum drive in Maine, said the process of recognizing same-sex marriages is speeding up nationwide. None of potential problems cited by gay marriage opponents — teaching same-sex marriage in schools, churches being forced to perform ceremonies — have come to bear, Grady said.

Meanwhile, it's been fun to see a variety of couples wed over the past year, he said. There have been large weddings with hundreds of guests, while other couples have opted for low-key events. Some couples had to wait decades for the right to get married, while other younger couples didn't have to wait long at all.

"What they all had in common was that they were incredibly joyful occasions," Grady said.

6a00d8341c730253ef01156f7caed6970c-800wiMeanwhile, opponents of same-sex marriage in the Pine Tree State, continue to argue that gay marriage will infringe upon individuals' religious liberties and cause trouble for wedding cake makers, photographers and other such wedding vendors who object to gay marriage and decline to work with gay couples. Carroll Conley, of The Christian Civic League of Main, a primary opponent of the referendum that ultimately won out, said,

"When we look across the country, this is definitely not a live-and-let-live proposition. The whole argument was about equality and we said during our campaign that we thought there would be people who'd find themselves in the crosshairs of the redefinition of marriage."

The 1,530 same-sex couples that married make up approximately 16 percent of all couples who said "I do" in Maine last year. Steven Bridges and Michael Snell (pictured above) were the first same-sex couple to get married after the referendum passed. As the fanfare has died down, the couple, who has been together for ten years, reflected on their historic union:

"We weren't looking anything special. We were just looking for the same thing that was afforded to everyone else through marriage," Snell said...

One of these days, what the couple did won't be unusual, Bridges said.

"With so many other states passing same-sex marriage laws, it's going to be normal. That's what we always wanted. We didn't want a gay wedding. We just wanted a wedding," he said.

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Comments

  1. Actually, Maine was the first state to have their voters put the measure on the ballot and approve it. Maine was truly the landmark. The other states had the legislatures put the measure on the ballot for voters.

    Posted by: Pablo | Dec 30, 2013 11:46:20 AM


  2. Off topic, but google has a link to a story on the Towleroad site about Aaron Rodgers, but the page doesn't actually exist.

    Was a story planned but canceled due to hesitation about outing?

    Posted by: Distingue Traces | Dec 30, 2013 11:50:39 AM


  3. I seem to recall a LOT of gay activists from other states complaining about how poorly run the EqualityMaine campaign was...

    It's funny to me that those commentators still have any cred whatsoever, we should be taking a look at exactly who all those big mouths were and at the really poor decisions they are still making on our behalf.

    Posted by: I Remember | Dec 30, 2013 12:08:02 PM


  4. Not exactly, @Pablo. Maine was the first state where marriage equality supporters rather than opponents initiated a ballot referendum. Many questioned the wisdom of doing that.

    In doing so they took a huge risk because a "people's veto" had undone the legislative victory only 3 years earlier. If they'd lost, it would have been a big win for opponents, but EqualityMaine & co did the ground work and got the job done, carrying on the tradition of stubborn Mainers taking away and then giving back LGBT rights. Now, on marriage, there's no turning back, which even the biggest bigots in Maine realize.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 30, 2013 12:43:48 PM


  5. @Ernie

    That's what I said. They were the first to have voters put it on the ballot and approve it. That is huge. The first place in the world.

    Posted by: Pablo | Dec 30, 2013 1:36:30 PM


  6. They look so happy.

    Posted by: Yeek | Dec 30, 2013 2:46:58 PM


  7. @Pablo: It was EqualityMaine/GLAD/Mainers United for Marriage that got the voter initiative on the ballot, garnering the necessary voter signatures, just as an anti-gay coalition had put a repeal question on the ballot in 2009, and just as other anti-gay groups have put marriage on the ballot in other states. In WA and MD the referendums were in response to legislative action (as in ME in 2009), but it was anti-gay groups not the legislatures that got it on the ballot.

    The difference, as I said, was that the EM/GLAD initiative was the first time a pro-equality group had proactively (and controversially) put marriage equality up for a popular vote. That was historic, I agree. Having done some equality work with Mainers, gay people and straight allies both, I know what an excellent job they did winning over the state in 2012.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 30, 2013 4:07:28 PM


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