HRC Blog

A Look Back at the Fight to Win the Freedom to Marry for all Mainers

The road to marriage equality in Maine has been long and winding, but this Tuesday, we made history.

In 2009, voters repealed the law allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine. When that referendum passed, we were more energized and determined than ever to achieve marriage equality for all Mainers.

We formed Mainers United for Marriage, which evolved into the state’s broadest coalition of organizations, businesses, political leaders, and ordinary citizens working towards marriage equality. In January, we submitted over 105,000 signatures to place a citizens’ initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot to allow same-sex marriage while protecting religious freedom.

For over two and a half years, our dedicated staff and volunteers have held hundreds of thousands of conversations with people across Maine about why marriage equality matters. Countless couples, both gay and straight, stood up to share their stories and to put human faces on this issue.

Our campaign maintained a tone that was both respectful and positive, even in the midst of our opponents’ criticism and attacks.

We emphasized personal stories because that’s what this fight was all about: real people who deserve to be able to marry the person they love.

On November 6, we won that fight. Voters in Maine became the first in the country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, and I could not be more proud of this state. In roughly 50 days, loving and committed same-sex couples will officially be able to get married in Maine.

Voters also approved marriage equality on Tuesday in Maryland and Washington and voted against a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota. These votes are not only encouraging; they are a declaration. Our country is moving towards equality, and we can look forward to the day when all couples have access to marriage.

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