Help Maine Keep Same-Sex Marriage Legal

Back in May, the Maine legislature legalized same-sex marriage. This November, voters in the state will have an opportunity to overturn that law. We can’t let that happen. Just as we saw with Proposition 8 in California in 2008, Maine voters will see Proposition 1 on their ballots this November. Hopefully, the majority will vote No on 1 and same-sex marriage will be protected.

Greta Christina explains why your involvement is so crucial:

The right isn’t wrong about this one. This is ground zero. We need to get every bit as involved in No on 1 as we did in No on 8. If we lose this one, we will, in fact, have lost a tremendous amount of momentum. But if we win, we will have loaded a huge heap of coal into that freight train’s engine. It will make the fight for same-sex marriage in every other state — in New York, in New Jersey, in California in 2010 or 2012, and eventually in Oregon and Minnesota and Alabama — much, much easier, and much more winnable.

What can you do to help?

Blog about it, Tweet about it, tell your friends about it. Even if you’re nowhere near Maine, get the momentum going. And if you know people in Maine, persuade them to vote and to vote the right way.

You can donate to Project Maine Equality.

You can volunteer to fly out to Maine and help spread the message in person (they’ll take care of you once you arrive).

Every bit helps and every victory helps tip the balance in the direction of equality.

(via Greta Christina’s Blog)

  • http://bakiwop.com bakiwop

    i’m stupefied that, in america, people can vote other peoples’ civil rights away.

  • JulietEcho

    i’m stupefied that, in america, people can vote other peoples’ civil rights away.

    I know. All we can do, for now, is to work like crazy to make sure the civil rights get more votes, but I hope that such ballot props will be done away with entirely in the near future.

    As many other people have pointed out, if they’d put interracial marriage rights to a vote, it wouldn’t have passed.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    bakiwop got there first with exactly what I was going to ask.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    @bakiwop:

    i’m stupefied that, in america, people can vote other peoples’ civil rights away.

    As George Carlin said, this country was founded by a group of slave-owners who told us all men are created equal. Indians, African-Americans, and women excepted, of course.

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    I might take some vacation and go down to Maine in October. It’s not that far.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    bakiwop – Gay marriage is not a civil right. Homosexuality is not a civil right. Please educate yourself on what civil rights are before you complain about them being voted away.

    JulietEcho – Race & sexual orientation are not equivalent. Drawing any sort of similarity between the civil rights movement and the gay “marriage”/civil union debate is nothing more than a bait and switch scheme, because gay “marriage”/a civil union is not a civil rights issue. In racism, a profound difference is projected but not actual, whereas there is a legitimate difference between the choice of the heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles.

    Otherwise, good luck – As you mentioned, it didn’t turn out as you hoped in California, though I think you have a better shot here.

  • TJ

    As George Carlin said, this country was founded by a group of slave-owners who told us all men are created equal. Indians, African-Americans, and women excepted, of course.

    George is my hero!

    Now we can add gays and atheists to that list.

    One would think the list would get shorter over time.

  • Infinite Monkey

    COMING THIS NOVEMBER-THE NOR’ EASTERN RUMBLE, THE DOGFIGHT IN DAMARISCOTTA, THE FRACAS IN FALMOUTH, THE RIOT IN ROCKLAND, THE SCRAP IN SCARBOROUGH, THE BRAWL IN BANGOR, THE WAR IN WATERVILLE! FROM AUBRUN TO YORK, FROM CAMDEN TO KEENEBUNKPORT, THIS WILL BE THE MAAAAAAINE EVENT!

  • Shane

    i’m stupefied that, in america, people can vote other peoples’ civil rights away.

    Or are you only “stupefied” when a country votes certain civil rights away? Canada has voted away most of a citizens rights to property (confiscation from legal owners without compensation) and self defense.

    http://www.pinkpistols.org/

  • Luther

    Perhaps a little Pat Robertson is in order. If they intend to reject gay marriage we could threaten Maine with a hurricane or worse, a lobster and tourist shortage. Just joking, we are above all that.

  • Infinite Monkey

    @ Luther

    Speak for yourself!

  • Justin jm

    bakiwop – Gay marriage is not a civil right. Homosexuality is not a civil right. Please educate yourself on what civil rights are before you complain about them being voted away.

    If homosexuality isn’t a civil right, do you expect the government to force gays to be straight?

    JulietEcho – Race & sexual orientation are not equivalent. Drawing any sort of similarity between the civil rights movement and the gay “marriage”/civil union debate is nothing more than a bait and switch scheme, because gay “marriage”/a civil union is not a civil rights issue. In racism, a profound difference is projected but not actual, whereas there is a legitimate difference between the choice of the heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles.

    First, there is similarity between the civil rights movement and the gay marriage movement, as homosexuality isn’t a choice. Even if it was, the analogy can still work.

    Second, there is no such thing as a “heterosexual lifestyle” and a “homosexual lifestyle.” People in either group are equally capable of maintaining monogamous relationships.

    Third, you shouldn’t refer to gay marriage as gay “marriage.” What, do you think that gay people have less love and commitment in their relationships? If not, then do you think their relationships are counterfeit or inferior, and why?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Jon wrote

    Gay marriage is not a civil right. Homosexuality is not a civil right. Please educate yourself on what civil rights are before you complain about them being voted away.

    I must be confused. Homosexual couples have the right to marry in Maine at this time. They are threatened with the removal of this right by popular vote. Isn’t this a civil rights issue?

    Race & sexual orientation are not equivalent. Drawing any sort of similarity between the civil rights movement and the gay “marriage”/civil union debate is nothing more than a bait and switch scheme, because gay “marriage”/a civil union is not a civil rights issue. In racism, a profound difference is projected but not actual, whereas there is a legitimate difference between the choice of the heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles.

    You are mixing up racism with racial equality and homophobia (in common parlance) with equality regardless of sexual orientation. To say racism isn’t equivalent to equality is correct because racism is an equality issue. To say equality for race, gender or sexual orientation are not equivalent is wrong. They are different focal points around the same issue, namely equality for all.

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com arkonbey

    I remember living in Maine in the late nineties when there was a proposition (2.5, I think)that would make it illegal to discriminate against gays (deny them housing, fire them, refuse them service due to their sexual orientation).

    There were many signs that Jon would appreciate: “Vote No on prop 2 1/2! No to special rights!”.

    Just because the rights enjoyed by us heteros are now given to gays, it doesn’t make those rights different.

    Imagine this: Maine now allows short men who like tall women to marry tall women who like short men.

    Some believe that a relationship between a short man and tall woman is sinful, so a proposition is on the works to ban short men/tall women marriage.

    See how stupid, bigoted and evil it sounds now?

  • JulietEcho

    Homosexuality is absolutely NOT a choice, and anyone who still believes that either refuses to do basic research or is in denial because of additional beliefs. End of story, really.

    And we most certainly give all sorts of civil rights to groups who arguably *do* make choices. Neo-nazis have the right to their rallies and organizations and free speech. Wiccans have a right to be treated equally with Christians and atheists in the eyes of the government. The right to have children, to use birth control, to have an abortion – all those are civil rights too.

  • John L

    Being a California resident for most of my life I had this blind assumption that California was a progressive state until prop 8 was introduced. My friends, co-workers, and family came out of the wood work and proclaimed that they were voting Yes on 8 which took away the right for any non-heterosexuals to marry. I don’t know anyone gay and I have never felt so strongly about this. Conservatives are always talking about “evil” government being too big and here they are voting to give government control of marriage. I had changed some people’s minds with the simple question of “Do you really want our government to decide who is allowed to marry?” To me this is a sign that government should shrink in this aspect of control they have and we should abolish “legal” marriage altogether and return it to the way it used to be. Isn’t that what conservatives should be standing for?

  • Ryan

    I’m afraid the fight for Oregon was lost about 5 years ago with Measure 36. We’ve got domestic partnerships, which afford some of the benefits of marriage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Ballot_Measure_36_%282004%29

    And if you’re wondering, about a quarter of the population lives in Multnomah county, the red one at the top of the map.

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    hF: Technically, same-sex marriage in Maine was going to start as of September 21st (or was that the day Chuck Yeager enlisted in the USAAF? I’ve been reading too much random stuff. Some time in September), but it has been postponed due to the upcoming vote on the issue.

    Jon: Marriage is a civil right if the people say it is. While (unlike voting), marriage isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, the Constitution isn’t an exhaustive list of rights (Ninth Amendment). The same rules for one right applies to the others.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    Infinite Monkey: That was awesome!

    I’m in Maine, you can bet I’ll be out helping with the No on 1 effort. If any of you decide to come out here to help please get in touch with me.

  • http://www.alexley.com/ AlexL

    John L wrote

    Being a California resident for most of my life…

    Thank you! You highlighted a point that there are many people who vote against marriage quality but don’t have strong reasons to do so, so they can be reasoned with. Also, odds are you probably know someone who’s gay, lesbian or bi but they’re probably closeted. I surprised a lot of people when I came out, even those who purportedly have excellent “gaydar”.

    And the United States Supreme Court has already decided that marriage is a civil right. They decided that in Loving v Virginia in 1967, among other cases.

    And to reiterate it again, being gay or lesbian is not a choice. I never chose, it happened for reasons I cannot explain but I did choose to accept myself despite some social pressures. Do any of you get to choose exactly who you fall in love with?

  • Jen

    I personally think every person should have the right to marry whoever they wish. And in the end if there’s a God and they did wrong during their life they will face judgement or whatever.
    Personally I know several gay/lesbian couples. It breaks my heart to see them live thier lives together but not have the benefits of a marriage. For instant, if something were to happen to my best friend’s mom’s girlfriend that would leave my bestfriend and her mother on the street. Thats not fair. If they just had that peice of legal paper things would be different. Who are we to choose.
    I guess movement are meant for a reason, but I got news for you. Womens rights, won. Blacks rights won. Racial issues, won. I will be highly disappointed in my country if gays loose their rights. Might as well take my rights away for being a woman and have a very close Native American background.

  • Jesse

    That donate link is to an insecure page – you should put an s after that http :)

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Thanks, Jesse — Made the link secure.

  • Dan W

    You know, same-sex marriage is something that, I think, should not be decided by individual states. It should be legal in all of the US. I’m not sure why it was put to the states to decide this one-by-one, but it’s just a messed up that in some parts of the country gay couples can get married while in other parts they can’t.

  • ChameleonDave

    i’m stupefied that, in america, people can vote other peoples’ civil rights away.

    How absurd. There never was a right to marry anyone other than one unmarried individual homo sapiens over a certain age, not too closely related to you, and of the opposite sex.

    If you want to grant a new right where none previously existed, then say so clearly.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    Well said ChameleonDave. Frankly, I’ve been dissapointed at the lack of intellectualism in many of the comments. I would prefer we deal with the situation as it is, rather than play games and make absurd statements.

    If homosexuality isn’t a civil right, do you expect the government to force gays to be straight?

    @JustinJM – No. But that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is a civil right.

    First, there is similarity between the civil rights movement and the gay marriage movement, as homosexuality isn’t a choice.

    The similarity between the movements are that in both cases, the nation is polarized and there are many people that protest both sides. Simply because African-Americans gained more rights in the 1960′s does not mean that homosexuals should gain more rights now. You can claim that the analogy “still works”, and you are correct from the standpoint that many gullible people believe that, but otherwise the analogy is intellectually bankrupt.

    Second, there is no such thing as a “heterosexual lifestyle” and a “homosexual lifestyle.” People in either group are equally capable of maintaining monogamous relationships.

    There is such a thing as heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles. How in the world could you think otherwise? The existence of these lifestyles is not a reflection on monogamy or lack thereof.

    Third, you shouldn’t refer to gay marriage as gay “marriage.” What, do you think that gay people have less love and commitment in their relationships? If not, then do you think their relationships are counterfeit or inferior, and why?

    I believe it is ONLY appropriate to refer to gay “marriage” using quotations marks. Marriage, by defintion, is between a man and a woman, and therefore it would be inappropriate to use a word to mean something other than its definition without the use of quotation marks. In doing so, I am not in any way making a comment about the love and commitment in gay or straight relationships.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    I must be confused. Homosexual couples have the right to marry in Maine at this time. They are threatened with the removal of this right by popular vote. Isn’t this a civil rights issue?

    No, it is not a civil rights issue. I am not confusing racism and racial equality with homophobia. If you will notice, my point is that they shouldn’t be mixed up, and many others appear to be mixing them up.

    Equality for race is different than equality for sexual orientation for precisely the reason that I state in the section of my comment that you quoted.

    You clearly have not thought through the concept of ‘equality for all’. Throughout all of society through all of history, actions that people take have consequences. You can’t expect to do whatever you want and be treated the same as everybody else. Certain things are not right.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    @JulietEcho –

    Homosexuality is absolutely NOT a choice, and anyone who still believes that either refuses to do basic research or is in denial because of additional beliefs. End of story, really.

    It makes no difference to my argument whether homosexuality is a choice. However, since you brought up research, you apparently have not done yours. To help you out with that, read this.

    @DanW:

    You know, same-sex marriage is something that, I think, should not be decided by individual states. It should be legal in all of the US. I’m not sure why it was put to the states to decide this one-by-one, but it’s just a messed up that in some parts of the country gay couples can get married while in other parts they can’t.

    I would disagree – In general, I prefer to give the states more power and the federal government less power. Marriage has been regulated by the states for quite some time (by the power invested in me by the state of ______). There is no reason to change that. If you want to have a homosexual “marriage”, move to a state where it is allowed. If you want to avoid homosexual “marriage”, move to a state where it isn’t allowed.

  • DSimon

    I believe it is ONLY appropriate to refer to gay “marriage” using quotations marks. Marriage, by defintion, is between a man and a woman, and therefore it would be inappropriate to use a word to mean something other than its definition without the use of quotation marks. In doing so, I am not in any way making a comment about the love and commitment in gay or straight relationships.

    Definitions of words legitimately change over time to match changes in culture.

    If two men or two women introduce themselves as a married couple, I’d fully expect any given American to understand their use of that phrase without comprehension issues, whether or not they agreed with it.

    Disagreeing about whether or not gay marriage should be legal is one thing, but debating about whether or not it can even be conceived of is disingenuous. The idea of gay marriage has enough cultural momentum behind it that you can no longer legitimately claim that the existence of the phrase itself is invalid, any more than you can claim it’s invalid to call a person “gay” without referring to whether they’re happy and exuberant.

    Anyways, not that it matters much, but dictionaries themselves do in fact include gay marriage in the definition of marriage nowadays.

  • ChameleonDave

    DSimon, your arguments only start to make sense if you would also apply them to a new form of marriage that you disagree with. Think of a form, and apply this. Do you pass the test?

  • DSimon

    Alright, ChameleonDave. To pick an absurd example, I disagree with marriage between human beings and irrational numbers. Just to be clear on this, I disagree with it on two seperate levels:

    1. Legalization: I don’t think that the government (assuming the government should be in charge of deciding what constitutes legal marriage) should legalize a marriage between me and pi, on the grounds that the implications of the law would make no sense; how can pi visit me in the hospital? How can pi inherit my worldly possessions if I die without a will? How can pi give its consent to marry me?

    2. Semantics: If I were to say “I just recently married the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference”, I’d expect people to respond “… What?” and have no idea what I meant. Heck, I don’t even have any idea what it would mean; I’d have to make something up out of whole cloth and then use that as an explanation.

    To go back to gay marriage, it seems to me that gay marriage does make both legal and semantic sense. I understand that Jon feels that it does not make legal sense; I disagree strongly with him on this, but I at least recognize it as an honest statement of his position.

    However, it’s disingenuous of Jon to claim that it doesn’t make semantic sense, when the meaning of the phrase “gay marriage” is easily understood.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    Marriage is a right and should be federally allowed and recognized for any two consenting adults that wish to marry.

    I understand state rights, but this is about general civil rights. God, religious beliefs… none of that should come into play here. Those are people’s beliefs related to something religious. This is a civil issue, with concern over taxes and legal issues. Not “what it is to God” or “an abomination before God” But two consenting tax-paying citizens of this country that are being denied a right.

    Fighting for same-sex marriage should be natural to anyone who currently enjoys the legal ability to marry without having to fight for it.

    Iowa looks to be next to having to deal with these discriminatory efforts from the religious kooks.


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