Saturday, July 2, 2011

Battle Over Same Sex Marriage Turns to Maine Once Again

One of the big things about the passage of same-sex marriage in New York is that it showed how grassroots efforts to inform the public and elected officials about marriage equality can lead to folks receiving their basic civil rights. As someone who has organized in New York and still is very close with New Yorkers in the LGBT community, I sat in countless meetings with activists from all over the state (though primarially the Rochester area) as we tried to figure out ways to make sure the legislature understood why it was so important to stand against discrimination. I understand how hard folks worked to get their rights and that is why I'm so happy that the day has finally come where they emerged victorius. At the same time, I realize that perhaps one of the greatest things that can come out of this is the momentum and energy it gives for folks in other states to continue fighting for their rights.

Despite progress being made, after all, we still see people trying to legalize discrimination against members of the LGBT community. Even though the governor signed a bill into law recognizing same sex marriage in Maine back in 2009, for instance, we saw Maggie Gallagher and her cronies were able to successfully repeal the legislation. After seeing the success in New York, however, it looks like activists in Maine are going to try to restore basic equaity in the state once again.
With momentum growing from last week’s victory in New York, supporters of marriage equality think that the time has come for another try in Maine.

Today, EqualityMaine will launch a campaign to gather signatures to place marriage equality on the ballot in November 2012.
Just like the efforts in New York, this isn't going to be easy and could come right down to the wire. And the challenge starts right from the beginning as marriage equality supporters have until January to collect the 57,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot in November of 2012.

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