Marriage Equality War in Maine By the Numbers | Advocate.com

In a little more than a week, Maine voters will decide whether to reverse their 2009 ban on marriage equality. Will the New England state right a grievous wrong? Or will they once again leave their LGBT residents in the lurch? We gathered information on the latest polls, money raised, and advertisements for and against Question 1 to get a sense of the chances that marriage equality has in Maine.

First off, here’s how Question 1 appears on the ballot:
Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

via Marriage Equality War in Maine By the Numbers | Advocate.com.

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Knights of Columbus gives $100K to Maine anti-gay-marriage campaign | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization, has given $100,000 to Protect Marriage Maine, the group leading efforts to oppose same-sex marriage in Maine.

The money comes from the international offices of the group, according to a press release.

“I believe this gift will encourage many other Mainers to financially support our efforts to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Bob Emrich, chairman of Protect Marriage Maine. “We look forward to continued financial and grassroots support as the campaign gears up for its final phase of advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts prior to Nov. 6.”

Last week, the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, released a report that stated that 60 percent of the funding for the four anti-gay-marriage campaigns across the country had come from the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church, or the National Organization for Marriage. Until this $100,000 gift, the Knights had given only about $1,000 to the Maine campaign and NOM had given $252,000.

via Knights of Columbus gives $100K to Maine anti-gay-marriage campaign | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME.

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Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation

On Election Day 2012, four states, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington will all have marriage equality on their ballots. Maryland, Maine and Washington would be the first states to enact marriage equality through voter referendums. In Minnesota, the issue on the ballot is an anti-gay marriage equality constitutional amendment.

Many of the “religious liberty” or “religious freedom” arguments against same-sex marriage equality depict scenarios using threatening language:

“Homosexual couples will be banging down the doors of your local church demanding to be married in your sanctuaries if this legislation passes.”

This is just not true.

What is up for vote in states is civil marriage. A civil marriage is a legal contract within a state; it is not a religious marriage.

Pastors will still be able to perform, or not, ceremonies at their will. No pastor will be forced to marry anyone. Period. It is true today and, no matter what the vote is on November 6h, it will be true then as well.

via Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation.

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Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun

Whether or not one is in favor of Maryland’s Question 6 that would legalize same-sex marriage, let’s be clear about one thing: The successful passage of this measure will make a lot of people incredibly happy. Happy that straight folk have decided it’s only fair to extend the same rights to their gay brethren and sistern that they themselves enjoy without ever having lifted a ring finger. Nothing in Question 6 will have any appreciable or deleterious affect on a straight person’s life in Maryland. None.

One’s genuinely held religious, moral and/or other convictions and beliefs do not trump my right to pursue an individual happiness that harms no one else. The happiness I pursue is being enabled to legally marry the man I love.

via Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun.

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At Long Last, Dignity? – NYTimes.com

If you live for 80 years, Chuck Bennett told me, you see things you never imagined. Crazy, fantastical stuff.

A man on the moon. “Amazing,” he said.

The Soviet Union’s disintegration. “Also amazing.”

And on Nov. 6, if the polls are right and his hope is fulfilled, the people of Maine may pass a referendum for same-sex marriage, which no state has adopted by popular vote before.

“That’s equally amazing to me,” he said. Ten minutes later, he circled back to say it again. “I would like to reiterate how amazing it is.”

Bennett was born in 1932 and grew up in Brooklyn without anything but slurs and clinical terms to describe his attraction to other men. In the late 1950s, he was forced out of the Navy for being gay.

He never found a long-term romantic partner, thwarted in part by a disapproving society with no obvious role models for him, and he bought his dream house on the ocean here 15 years ago with two close friends, because he didn’t want to grow old alone and didn’t expect to meet anyone special, not so late in the game.

“You know that old saying, Born 50 years too soon?” he asked me. “I think I do feel something of that.”

via At Long Last, Dignity? – NYTimes.com.

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Tim Gunn Celebrity Chefs Marriage Equality | The Braiser

On October 24th, celebrity chefs including Jose Andres and Bryan Voltaggio will converge at Chefs for Equality, an event emceed by Tim Gunn and co-hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and food columnist David Hagedorn. At the Ritz Carlton Washington DC, they’ll join Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in an effort to preserve Maryland’s standing marriage equality law, which is up for referendum next month.

Tickets are going for $300 a head, but if you want to feel like you’re at one of those fancy Obama dinners, you can bid on one of nine auctioned chefs tables, where celebrity chef duos will be teaming up to cook you a five-course meal. Bryan “The Quiet One” Voltaggio is paired with Michel Richard of Central, and this event solves the mystery of his offering to match donations made to Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Sommeliers will also be on hand to craft wine pairings on the fly.

via Tim Gunn Celebrity Chefs Marriage Equality | The Braiser.

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Liberty and justice for all in Maryland – Guest Voices – The Washington Post

There is no good reason religious people should oppose marriage equality. In fact, there’s every good reason, including religious reasons, for supporting the freedom to marry.

This November, Maryland voters will have the historic opportunity to extend the rights and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Specifically, Marylanders will vote on Question 6, asking them to approve or reject a marriage equality bill state legislators passed earlier this year.

Should voters affirm the law, Maryland would join six other states and the District of Columbia – as well as become the first state below the Mason-Dixon Line – that currently allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry. It would also make Maryland the first state (or one of the first states, depending on the results of Maine and Washington’s marriage equality referenda) to approve of marriage equality at the ballot box.

In short, approving marriage equality at the ballot box in Maryland would be a historic moment in the fight for “liberty and justice for all.”

via Liberty and justice for all in Maryland – Guest Voices – The Washington Post.

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Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com

“Religious groups such as Catholic Charities, in Boston and Washington, D.C., have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission — based on their religious beliefs — or accepting this new definition of marriage. As a result, they had to close their adoption program.”

The message: The placing of children for adoption was threatened and curtailed by adoption of marriage equality in Massachusetts.

The truth is quite different. The man who, in 2005, was chairman of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Boston, Peter Meade, has set out, in his words, to “set the record straight.” Meade writes:

“Opponents of the freedom to marry ignore the truth and distort history when they talk about Catholic Charities of Boston and its decision to shut down its adoption services. I’m shocked and amazed that so many years later, they are making the false claim that Catholic Charities’ decision had anything to do with allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

As the Boston Globe has documented, Catholic Charities placed 13 children with gay couples BEFORE the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The children were largely from difficult backgrounds and among those “harder to place,” in Meade’s words.

Taking up Meade’s narrative:

“We placed these children according to their needs and according to the love and stability they would receive in their adoptive homes. Most children — more than 700 — were, in fact, adopted by straight couples, but 13 over 17 years were placed in loving homes headed by gay or lesbian couples.”

Action by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in legalizing same-sex marriage, did NOT force a halt to such adoptions. The orders came from above — and from across the Atlantic.

“In 2005, tragically and out of the blue, the Vatican ordered our diocese to cease using the single criteria of ‘best interest of the children,'” writes Meade. “They ordered us to stop facilitating adoptions to qualified gay and lesbian households.

“I objected strenuously for two reasons. First and foremost, the Church hierarchy was telling us to violate the best interests of the children who were in our care. It was an arbitrary edict that, to many of us, had nothing to do with what was best for these kids and undermined our moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes.”

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/connelly/article/Anti-gay-marriage-campaign-gets-launched-with-a-3944449.php#ixzz29I40qEzh

via Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com.

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As a Mom, I Will Be Voting Yes on 1 – – Free Press Online – Rockland, ME

I’m a mom. I can’t write a letter as a lawyer about marriage inequality or as a pastor about how the Bible should be interpreted in terms of marriage. There are many others who have and, hopefully, will continue to speak to those issues.

I’m a mom who can write about my family. I am so proud of our six children. We have eight grandchildren and expect our ninth by the end of this year. I have been blessed with kids that are tolerant of others and grandchildren who are being raised to be tolerant of others.

I have watched five of my kids get married. I have watched the ceremonies with tears in my eyes and my heart filled with joy that they were able to commit to the person they loved in an open, loving way. As a parent, I want that for all my kids. I can’t imagine how anyone would think that my gay son is less deserving than my other children to be able to share in the security that a marriage brings and the recognition of their commitment. I don’t mean the ceremony of the wedding – as beautiful as they are – but the legal rights that marriage affords to people. Yes, I would love to watch the ceremony for all my children but, more than that, I want them to be able to commit under the law and benefit from the protection that brings to them. I want to know that they are all treated fairly and equally.

One of my grandkids was talking to his mom about marriage equality and asked her why anyone would care who someone else loved. She couldn’t explain it to him and if he had asked me, I wouldn’t have been able to explain it either to him. The very fact that he wonders at his young age or that my mom, of an older generation, wonders why others care gives me hope that this inequality will end in November in Maine.

As a mom I will be voting Yes on 1 on November 6th. I will do this with all the love I have in me for my kids and their kids and others who believe that people deserve to be treated equally. I will do it with great pride in all my kids – pride in who they are and who they love. I will do it knowing that when the time comes that all my kids want to be legally married, they will be and I will be one happy mom.

Please join me in voting Yes on 1.

Debbie Seaver, Waldoboro

via As a Mom, I Will Be Voting Yes on 1 – – Free Press Online – Rockland, ME.

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