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Anti-Gay Activists Surrender From Coast to Coast

Jim Burroway

June 19th, 2008

Anti-gay activists in Maine and Oregon have abandoned efforts to repeal nondiscrimination laws.

First in Maine, where an effort to repeal that state’s anti-discrimination laws have floundered:

An initiative campaign to repeal Maine’s gay rights law and put in place roadblocks to gay marriages and adoptions is being abandoned, leaders of the campaign said Thursday.

“We’re pulling the plug,” said Michael Heath, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. Heath said the evangelical group failed to attract voter, volunteer and financial support it needed to continue its campaign.

This is yet another indication that the tide may be turning. As we reported on Monday, Oregon anti-gay activists abandoned their efforts to repeal two state laws. One initiative targeted a state law banning discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The other initiative sought to repeal that state’s domestic partnership law. Now they’ve conceded that they can’t collect enough signatures in time:

Organizers conceded Monday that their initiatives to repeal two Oregon gay rights laws will not make the November ballot.

The fact that the initiatives are stalled offers more evidence that opponents are losing support, say gay rights activists, who were also celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriages in California on Monday.

But conservatives and church groups that are pushing the Oregon initiatives say their support is growing. “We’re just getting stronger,” said Marylin Shannon of Brooks, a former Republican state senator and chief petitioner in the initiative drives. “The network is growing daily.”

Marylin’s bluster is so precious, isn’t it?



TJ McFisty
June 19th, 2008 | LINK

Hmm…does this mean these religious groups recoup the free time they’ve always wanted to help the poor and needy? Fantastic!

Emily K
June 19th, 2008 | LINK

I know that here in Pennsylvania, there was an anti-gay marriage ammendment on the ballot but it was quickly killed. I spoke to an ACLU rep at Pride Fest this year and he said that the reason why it was killed so fast is because people here in PA are tired of voting on them. Even in the center of the state (the super conservative part) they’re saying, “stop sending these to us. We don’t wanna vote on ’em.” It’s become an issue people don’t want to put to vote. Which I think is how it should stay. Leave us gays alone.

June 20th, 2008 | LINK

And don’t forget that in Illinois, Peter LaBarbera’s group couldn’t get enough signatures for an anti-marriage referendum. They didn’t even bother to file their petitions, they were so far short.

June 20th, 2008 | LINK

What’s amazing is how inept the Oregon anti-gay groups and the state Republican party are. It was only four years ago that they successfully gathered 244,000 signatures in 41 days and passed a constitutional amendment. Now they’re struggling to collect only 82,769 approved signatures to qualify a ballot measure. Even the state Republican party is having financial problems and could not even find candidates to run for open statewide office. I can’t help but think disillusionment with Bush Jr. has contributed to their downfall.

June 20th, 2008 | LINK

On of the reasons Oregon anti-gay groups are having trouble collecting signatures is because Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest gay rights group, challenged ballot titles for the initiatives in petitions to the Oregon Supreme Court.

From the Oregonian article:
The court has yet to rule, and until it does, initiative supporters cannot collect signatures. With the July 3 deadline less than three weeks away, initiative supporters concede they will not have time to collect the 82,769 signatures they need for each initiative.

I think Norm! makes a very observant point, that anti-gay groups 4 years ago collected more than twice that amount of signatures in only 41 days.

June 20th, 2008 | LINK

I can only hope that this signals the beginning of a wide reaching repudiation of the failed, hate-filled neocon philosophy.

June 20th, 2008 | LINK

I’m have been followed the gay rights political narrative and polling nationally since 2003. Just happened to be in Massachusetts and saw much of how it works and for what reasons up close.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the country had its “great debate” about gay rights and SSM from mid-2004 to maybe mid-2005. The air has been going out of the anti-gay balloon ever since.

The energy the anti-gay crowd is running on goes back to then. They maxed it out, it’s finite, and they’re using it up. It’s pretty spent in most Blue States and also declining in Red States.

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