Organizing to Protect Marriage in Maine
June 12, 2009
Ed. Note: This post is from Jeremy Kennedy, HRC's regional field organizer stationed in Maine.
On the heels of passing a marriage equality bill and Governor Baldacci signing it, we are poised to become the first state in the nation to pass a marriage bill through the legislature, get the Governor’s signature, AND protect the freedom to marry all in the same year! I have been in Maine since January working hard to make marriage equality a reality here. Working alongside Equality Maine, we are working hard to ensure that we have every vote we need to protect the marriage bill on a referendum in November. Last week, we kicked off a tour across the state of Community Conversations where we talked with over 500 people about the how we are going to win in November. The events took place in Cumberland County, York County, Androscoggin County, and Penobscot County. The energy at each of these meetings was amazing - people are energized and engaged! Betsy Smith, Executive Director of Equality Maine inspired the crowd to get involved. “This is not only a fight about marriage” she said, “this is a fight for our humanity.” Across the state, the opposition is gathering the necessary petition signatures to get a question on the ballot in November to let voters decide whether to reject the new law which grants same-sex couples the freedom to marry. In preparation for this battle at the ballot box, we are on the ground across the state identifying and mobilizing voters to vote “NO” to rejecting the marriage equality law in November. We are starting the conversation about marriage in homes across the state and talking to voters about the importance of providing and protecting equal rights for LGBT people and their families. Last night, volunteers gathered at phonebanks across Maine to ask voters if they wanted to reject the same-sex marriage law. As the volunteers told their stories of why they are involved in protecting this law, it is evident that fairness and equality is important to Mainers from all parts of the state and all walks of life. One couple drove 3 hours roundtrip to attend the phone bank. Merrill and Nancy have been together for 33 years and they want to get married! And, it is not just couples who are getting involved. One woman, with tears in her eyes, told me that it was wrong and unfair that her daughter’s relationship is not recognized as equal and legitimate under the law. She will be dedicating her time between now and November evey week to ensure that marriage equality is protected. So…there is no time or effort to waste. If you live in Maine - get involved now! Go to mainefreedomtomarry.com or email me at [email protected]. And remember, VOTE NO IN NOVEMBER!
May 20, 2013