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It’s on in Maine

Timothy Kincaid

February 23rd, 2012

It is official. The Secretary of State has reviewed the signatures and confirms their adequacy. In November, Maine voters will decide whether that state will recognize the rights of gay citizens to be treated equally by their government in marriage.

Voting on marriage equality is not a new thing. Thirty some states have already done so and four more are likely this year. But for the first time, the vote has been initiated by gay and supportive residents. And rather than the message being “stop those gay people from having rights”, it will be a positive “please recognize my rights.”



Ben In Oakland
February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

I sent them some money, and my analysis of what went wrong with prop. 8– the failure to talk about bigotry, to show us and our families, to talk about and SHOW religius entities supporting us, to talk about why marriage is important to us. They ignored it last time. I hope they don’t do it again, because if they do what they did last time– and their few TV spots I’ve seen indicate they will– then we will lose aqain.

February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

The LDS Church has paid millions for their “I am a Mormon” ads. We’d do great if we made our own similar “I am gay.” ads; ads showing our families and our diverse set of people.

I am a gay veteran. I am a gay accountant. I am a gay Sheriff. I am a gay gynecologist.

Along those lines…

Timothy Kincaid
February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

I agree…

However, I think that there is a unique opportunity, one we have never considered and which will seem foreign and uncomfortable to some of our community.

I think that if we want to win we have to make this about what it really is about – a morals issue.

We believe, as part of our moral/ethical code that it is wrong to treat people differently based on things like race, religion, ethnicity, and yes orientation. It’s not just well yeah maybe the gays can have marriage too. It is immoral and unethical to exclude gay people from equality in civil life.

And you know what? There are a lot of churches that agree with us. Even some who won’t allow gay pastors or conduct gay marriages believe – and state in their guiding documents that civil equality is a matter of “justice and mercy” and is part of the church’s mandate. It isn’t optional. It’s a godly direction.

We’ve never asked them to rise up and act as a community of believers on the commandments of God to live with justice and mercy.

And I personally believe – based on following this stuff – that now is the right time.

And think of the power behind that. A whole lot of not very religious people defer to “the church” and “the bible” without any clue what either really teach. If, say, the Methodists and the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians all call this a matter of christian duty then all of the anti-gay god crap has no power.

And besides when Aunt Thelma tells her neighbor Bessie that she’s going down to the church to paint a pro-gay marriage sign, you can bet that Bessie will accept “oh, that’s what we believe now”.

February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Mreh, I still feel entirely uncomfortable with the people voting on my rights.

February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is doubling down on its anti-gay (and generally socially/sexually regressive) policies nationwide. As happened last time around in Maine, they will say whatever they have to say (however scurrilous it might be) and spend whatever they have to spend to defeat marriage equality. And unfortunately they still have enough influence (not credibility, but influence) in Maine to make it work.

February 24th, 2012 | LINK

This is going to be a very nerve wracking election. In addition to Maine, we’ll likely have our rights put up to a vote in Washington and Maryland, too. Plus, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich have all sworn to fight us every step of the way towards equality. We could lose very big or win very big. I believe Timothy is right. The ads should feature religious leaders arguing that their rights to perform the marriages they want are being taken away. And of course, their should be gay couples and families. Lots of them.

Jay Jonson
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

Don’t forget the votes on constitutional amendments in North Carolina in May and Minnesota in November. The North Carolina election has been rigged by the Republicans to coincide with the Republican presidential primary, and we probably have no chance to win with all the wing-nuts coming out to vote, but we do have a good chance in Minnesota.

February 24th, 2012 | LINK

I went door to door in northern Maine on question 1 last time. Living in Maine these past few years(as well as the vast majority of my life), I have watched the general climate change regarding this issue.

Also, with the documentary, Question One, were were able to get some very interesting and compelling footage, that I dearly hope finds its way onto our televisions this fall.
and an actual trailer:

With how close it came last time, taking into account the climate change on this issue, I’m very hopeful.

On the issue of the public voting on a minority’s rights, I agree with Aaron, it makes me uncomfortable. However, if we can win in the ballot box at just one state, it changes a great deal of the dialogue. Marriage equality is no longer being ‘forced on states by legislatures and judges’ it becomes the choice of a population in one of our 50 states. That is as powerful as it is compelling.

Now, once we get this whole marriage thing sorted out, can we please work more on a gender identity inclusive ENDA? As a transgendered lesbian, I would really appreciate it. Given that I’m legally male still, I can marry my partner right now, but I’m working on this for our larger community. It would be very nice of all you GLBs out there to reciprocate.


February 24th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy –

Your commentary about “a unique opportunity, one we have never considered” and “We’ve never asked them to rise up and act as a community of believers on the commandments of God to live with justice and mercy . . ?”

Well, gosh . . . this part of “we” has been asking (nicely, until I gave up ‘nice’ for Lent one year – and firmly, politely, pleadingly, and pleasanter variations of request) for days and weeks and months and years now. And it has been based very much on “After the Ball” (yes, a long, long, time ago, in a publishing world far away) – with facts backing an emotional appeal to the moral issue of equality.

However, sweeping editorial “we’s” and “nevers” aside, I DO entirely agree with your personal statement: that now IS the right time.

And Ryan – thank you for raising one of my favorite points: the right to free exercise of religion in performing marriage rights (or not) should not be dictated by government (nor should “some religions be more equal than other religions” in this particular Animal Farm).

Ben In Oakland
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, I should add with Reed that you said in much expanded form what i bwas saying. I wholeheartedly agree.

Mark F.
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

“I still feel entirely uncomfortable with the people voting on my rights.”

More uncomfortable than a legislative body or a judicial panel? Face it, someone is going to have to vote on it. That’s just how it is.

February 25th, 2012 | LINK

LIke Ben, I was concerned with the content of some of the pro marriage TV ads I saw. The ads seemed to rely to heavily on “the gays are respectable middle class folks.” They seemed designed to appeal to the southern coastal communities that already support same sex marriage. Maine has a lot of poor people, working class people, and old people. Ads need to talk to these people and make a case for why they should support marriage. I suspect many of these folks were turned off by ads that seemed to show that people who already have everything (aka money) want “special rights.” Too many of the gay people featured in the TV spots looked like summer people.

Priya Lynn
February 25th, 2012 | LINK

AAron said “I still feel entirely uncomfortable with the people voting on my rights.”.

Mark asked “More uncomfortable than a legislative body or a judicial panel?”.


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