Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Maine approves of discrimination

I'm so upset by this I can hardly breath. This is why equal rights for GLBT people needs to be a federal issue, not a state referendum. History shows that the majority will usually fight to keep the minority from gaining power/equality. We need Congress to pass federal legislation providing ALL tax-paying citizen, straight and gay, with equal rights and protections.

Maine Voters Repeal Law Allowing Gay Marriage
By Abby Goodnough, NY Times

In a stinging setback for the national gay-rights movement, Maine voters narrowly decided to repeal the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage.

With 87% of precincts reporting early this morning, 53% of voters had approved the repeal, ending an expensive and emotional fight that was closely watched around the country as a referendum on the national gay-marriage movement. Polls had suggested a much closer race.

With the repeal, Maine became the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Five other states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont - have legalized same-sex marriage, but only through court rulings and legislative action.

The Maine vote was particularly discouraging for gay-rights groups because it took place in New England, the region that has been the most open to same-sex marriage, and because opponents of the repeal had far outspent backers. Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, had enthusiastically backed the state law allowing gay marriage, passed by the legislature in May but put on hold until the referendum took place.

The repeal came a year after California voters banned same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment. Preliminary results showed strong opposition to the repeal in Portland, the state’s biggest city, but not enough to counter widespread support in more conservative regions to the north.

Throughout the bitter campaign, supporters of same sex marriage had stressed that gay couples deserve equal treatment under the law, banking on Maine’s reputation as a “live and let live” state. Opponents repeatedly warned voters that if gays were allowed to marry, it would be taught in the public schools, a tactic that proved effective in CA last year.

The Catholic Church was a leading supporter of the repeal campaign, even asking parishes to pass a second collection plate at Sunday mass to help the cause. The National Organization for Marriage also contributed heavily to the repeal campaign; it is under investigation by Maine’s ethics commission for possibly flouting state campaign finance laws by refusing to reveal its donors.

Crush du Jour: Juan Carlos Garcia


Larry Ohio said...

I'm with you Mark. It's saddening. I think Jesse Ventura of all people said it best the other day.

He said, "You can‘t take a civil rights issue and put it up to a vote. If you did that, we might still have slavery if it was allowed to be voted on."

Followed by, "But you can‘t put a civil rights issue on the general ballot in a state and let people vote on it because if do you that, in the southern states before you can bet, they would have voted to continue slavery."

behrmark said...

I'm not going to mince words. This scares the shit out of me. Since these states have voted that we are not equal citizens and are not worthy of protection and rights, what's to stop them from outlawing us altogether? I fear another reich; only the goal will be to eradicate the GLBTQ community. And the scariest part about it is it will happen here in the U.S. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Java said...

It sucks out loud.

I find encouragement that the margin was narrow. I also have a lot of faith in the younger generation. I hope we don't have to wait 15 or 20 years to make equal rights for GLBTQ a reality, but I think that things will be better by then. Gawd I hope so!