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Posts for April, 2011

Leader of Maine’s Yes on 1 Campaign Admits to Lying

Jim Burroway

April 18th, 2011

Liar

A new documentary is due to be released this summer which goes behind the scenes of Maine’s 2009 campaign to deny marriage equality for same-sex couples. Documentarians Joe Fox and James Nubile obtained permission to film both camps on the provision that the documentary not air until after the campaign was over. Now that it’s due to air later this year, a trailer for Question One has been posted online, complete with a very candid admission from Yes on 1 campaign chairman Marc Mutty:

We use a lot of hyperbole and I think that’s always dangerous,” says Mutty during a Yes on 1 strategy session, at the time on leave from his job as public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine.

“You know, we say things like ‘Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!’ ” he continues. “Well, that’s not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t, you know?”

“No,” interjects a woman off-camera. “We don’t say that.”

“Let’s look back at our ads and see what we say,” Mutty persists. “And I think we use hyperbole to the point where, you know, it’s like ‘Geez!'”

Mutty admitted that what they were doing was the equivalent of slamming people over the head with “a two-by-four with nails sticking out of it,” adding, ” it’s the only thing we’ve got — it’s the only way. That’s the way campaigns work.”

Mutty now regrets allowing the filming, worrying that “what impact it will have on my professional life remains to be seen.”

Betsy Smith, the executive director of Equality Maine, summed it all up nicely by observing that opponents’ religious motivations (McNutty was an official with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine) didn’t translate into an ethical campaign:

Still, she said, “sometimes you want to believe that at least they believed in what they were saying. You want to believe that they feel so passionately about religion and tradition that the things they put out there, they believe, are true.”

And now?

“It’s striking to hear them say ‘No, we knew all along that wasn’t true,'” Smith said. “‘We were just hitting people over the head with a two-by-four with nails because that’s the only option we had.'”

Maine Poll Goes Our Way

Timothy Kincaid

September 29th, 2009

A poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner taken from September 23-27 of 808 registered voters included the following question:

Q.6 Now let me ask something else. One of the questions on the ballot this November will read as follows: “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” – If the election were held today, would you vote YES or NO on this question? Total

Yes strongly……………………………………………………………….37
Yes not strongly…………………………………………………………..4
No not strongly……………………………………………………………7
No strongly………………………………………………………………..43
(Don’t know/refused)…………………………………………………….9

Total yes…………………………………………………………………..41
Total no……………………………………………………………………50

Although the structure of the question is confusing, “No” is the answer which we wish to see.

Same-Sex Marriage Battle Looms in Maine

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2008

It looks like Maine may emerge as the next battleground for same-sex marriage. Equality Maine had 250 volunteers at 86 polling places on election day asking voters to sign postcards supporting same-sex marriage to send to state legislators. Equality Maine’s goal was “only” 10,000 signatures; they collected 33,190. Meanwhile, the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has been holding press conferences around the state to build support for same-sex marriage.

All of that activity has led same-sex marriage opponents to found a new group, Maine Marriage Alliance, to push for a constitutional amendment:

“Efforts are pretty clearly under way to simply redefine marriage in the state,” said the Rev. Bob Emrich, pastor of Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church in Plymouth and a founder of the alliance. “Let’s put that issue to rest. We want to define marriage, put it in the current constitution so we don’t have to wonder if the court or Legislature will overturn it.”

The process for amending the Maine Constitution begins with a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature, followed by a majority vote of the people in a referendum.