On One Hand

November 2, 2009

Maine Puts Gay Marriage to the Test on Tuesday

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:12 pm
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Gay rights advocates hope Maine will become the first state in the union to affirm marriage equality by popular vote. Most forecasts are showing tomorrow’s referendum to come very close to 50-50; pro-gay-marriage voters have the population advantage in a very liberal state, but anti-gay groups are likely to over-perform in turnout and enthusiasm since it’s harder to get young voters to the polls in an off-year election.

Donations have been pouring in to the state for campaigns and advertising. Proponents of same sex marriage raised more money than the anti-gay groups, but had a higher percentage of their funds come from within the state of Maine than Conservative groups did. The Right sees Maine, like all states on the brink of affirming gay marriage, as another step in a long-term cultural revolution that threatens to sweep the country. For once, I hope the far-Right is correct.

Maine’s vote will come a year minus one day after California banned gay marriage by popular vote, making itself the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry then revoke the right. In California, anti-gay groups outfunded LGBT rights advocates with huge support from Evangelical and Mormon churches across the country.

I want to post an expert from a sermon by Rev. Al Sharpton discussing Evangelical Christian churches who pour their support into major anti-gay campaigns:

There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.

It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners.

We know you’re not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California. When they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there, you had nothing to say. But you come out against peoples’ private lives and bust into their bedrooms.

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1 Comment »

  1. The anti-marriage advocacy at this point seems stunning to me. Prop 8 was, and this is, a razor-thin margin. Yet momentum is entirely at the back of gay-marriage advocates. Young folk overwhelmingly approve of this. So what exactly are anti-gay advocates trying to accomplish? Is it to cast themselves as the last sane citizens of Sodom? Is it contrarianism?

    I guess the personal motives matter less. As disappointing as a Maine failure tomorrow would be (likely delaying the extension of rights in other states for some time, possibly including my own Rhode Island), it’s hard to imagine* this not being a right enjoyed by us (you and I) within a decade. It’s just too bad for every guy and gal who’s been waiting for this for decades. Or never dreamed of the possibility.

    * – I have to wonder if such statements of historical inevitability contribute to the complacency that allows Prop 8 to pass or for tomorrow’s Maine vote to even be so close.

    Comment by erichowens — November 2, 2009 @ 7:41 pm | Reply


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