Stakes Are High in Maine’s Vote on Gay Marriage

November 3, 2009

by David Sharp and David Crary | Associated Press

Bolstered by out-of-state money and volunteers, both sides jockeyed Monday to boost turnout for a Maine referendum that could give gay-rights activists in the U.S. their first victory at the ballot box on the deeply divisive issue of same-sex marriage.

The state’s voters will decide Tuesday whether to repeal a law that would allow gay marriage. The law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci last May but has never taken effect.

The contest is considered too close to call, and both campaigns worked vigorously — with rallies, phone calls, e-mails and ads — to be sure their supporters cast votes in the off-year election.

If voters uphold the law, it will be the first time the electorate in any state has endorsed marital rights for same-sex couples, energizing activists nationwide and deflating a long-standing conservative argument that gay marriage lacks popular support.

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Red Alert—Defend Marriage Equality in Maine

November 2, 2009

We just received word from our colleague Jesse Connelly of No on 1-Protect Maine Equality about some unfortunate news: opponents of marriage equality have just increased their TV ad buy by $25,000. $25,000 buys a lot of TV ads in Maine.

But we can’t let Yes on 1 win the airtime war with their misleading, and factually inaccurate ads. We can’t let Yes on 1 lie to Maine voters about schools, teachers, children, and same-sex couples in Maine.

We need to stand up and match every one of their lies with an ad of our own, that explains that marriage equality won’t do anything to families but protect all of them. But with the money that we have right now, we simply can’t counter their arguments on TV.

We know we’ve asked so much, but Maine is a fight we can’t afford to lose.

Please help defend marriage equality in Maine, and help us raise $70,00 in the final hours to election day.

We simply can’t–and won’t–let opponents of equality win, but we need your help. Can you come through one last time and give $20 to help us finish this campaign with a win?

In Solidarity,
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Six Tests for Equality and Fairness

November 2, 2009

New York Times editorial

Political battles this fall in six different parts of the country could have a profound impact on whether the United States will extend the promise of equal rights to those who are not allowed to marry simply because they are the same sex as their partner.

Three jurisdictions — New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia — seem tantalizingly close to securing legislative approval for measures ending the hurtful and unjustifiable exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage. But in Maine, Washington State and Kalamazoo, Mich., voters are being asked on Tuesday to strip away vital rights and protections.

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Watch Rachel Maddow Talk with Maine’s Gov. Baldacci about Question 1

October 30, 2009

Help WA, ME and Kalamazoo Win on November 3rd—We Need Your Help Today!

October 29, 2009

3-2-1Yesterday, our community secured an historic victory with President Obama signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Yet in less than one week, our rights are put to a popular vote in three states: Washington State, Maine, and Michigan.

Last year, the LGBT movement suffered tremendous defeats as we lost every LGBT-specific state ballot initiative on Election Day. We must make sure that we write a different ending to this story in 2009. Take action to support LGBT equality TODAY.

Below you’ll find information on the three ballot initiatives that need our urgent help. Together, we can re-write history.

To the finish line,
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Approve Ref71 - Phone BankWashington State

Who we are: Approve Referendum 71 is the campaign to preserve domestic partnerships in Washington State. By voting to approve, voters retain the domestic partnership laws that were passed during this year’s legislative session, including using sick leave to care for a partner, adoption rights, insurance rights, and more.

What we need: We need phone bankers to get our supporters out to vote. Washington is an all mail-in ballot state, and we need to ensure our supporters put their ballots in the mail. Also, youth turnout is a critical component of our campaign, and youth turnout historically drops in off-year elections. So we need a lot of help to turn them out.

How you can help: Sign up here to make remote calls for Approve 71. We’ll then contact you for a training, and you can make GOTV calls.

Who we are: The No On 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign is working to protect Maine’s recently-passed law legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. Because of Maine’s early voting election laws, people are already voting at the polls, so we need help immediately to turn our side out to vote NO at the polls.

What we need: We need you to devote a few hours to Call for Equality. Call for Equality is a virtual phonebank set up so that you can call Maine voters wherever you are. Much of Maine is rural, where canvassing isn’t effective, so we need to reach these voters–along with other supporters–by phone. All you need is a phone and internet connection. No experience required! We’ll provide the training, and all you need is a few hours to help get a win in Maine.

How you can help: Click here to sign up for a training and your shift. There are lots of times available for your convenience.
kalamazooKalamazoo, MI

Who we are: The Yes on Ordinance 1856 / One Kalamazoo campaign is working in Michigan to support the City Commission of Kalamazoo’s twice-approved ordinance for housing, employment, and public accommodation protections for LGBT residents. Opponents forced a public referendum on the ordinance so dedicated local volunteers are working to ensure voters say YES to fairness and equality and keep Ordinance 1856.

Why the urgency: In the final weeks, the opposition has gone all out with aggressive disinformation and misleading red herrings to try to defeat the ordinance. This includes signs that say “No to Discrimination” (even though voting No actually supports continued discrimination of LGBT residents), transphobic door hangers and fliers, and now radio ads that falsely suggest that criminal behavior will become legal when this simply isn’t true. The Yes on Ordinance 1856 supporters are better organized but many voters who want to vote for LGBT people are getting confused by the opposition.

How you can help:
1) Help the One Kalamazoo campaign raise a final $10,000 specifically dedicated to fight back against the lies on the local TV and radio airwaves and fully fund the campaign’s final field and Get Out The Vote efforts.
Give here:

2) If you live nearby and can physically volunteer in Kalamazoo sign up here. If you know anyone that lives in Kalamazoo, use the One Kalamazoo campaign’s online canvass tool to remind those voters that they need to vote on November 3rd and vote YES on Ordinance 1856 to support equality for LGBT people.
Contact voters:

Watch In the Life’s Short Film: Equality in Maine

October 29, 2009

Right now Maine voters are being asked: “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?” Does the wording seem complicated to you? In the Life asked people on the street.

Don’t let the tricky ballot wording fool you: make sure you vote No on Prop 1.

Maine Governor Urges Residents to Vote for Gay Marriage

October 28, 2009

from the Associated Press

Maine Gov. John Baldacci  is urging residents to vote against repealing the state’s same-sex marriage law while acknowledging his past opposition to gay marriage.

Baldacci said Tuesday that he once preferred civil unions to gay marriage but came to believe a civil union is not equal to civil marriage. He signed the gay marriage bill into law last May.

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