Maine Narrowly Repeals Gay Marriage, Outside Interests Win

November 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)–The efforts of many Mainers and the national gay-rights movement, to stop a repeal of Maine’s new law allowing same-sex marriage, suffered a disappointing defeat on Tuesday. In a surprisingly high voter turnout, Mainers went to the polls to repeal the rights granted to gay couples to marry, which was signed into law by Gov. John Baldacci in May.

During the campaign to repeal the law, outside interests, such as the National Organization for Marriage and virulent anti-gay advocate Matt Barber, of Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, poured money and other resources into the state to defeat gay marriage.

The state’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese also came out publicly to oppose gay marriage rights in the New England state, by passing separate collection baskets during services to raise money to repeal the law.

Polling done before the vote, seemed to have given a slight edge to gay marriage proponents, but with 87 percent of precincts reporting, 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal.

In the days before the vote, anti-gay marriage organizations flooded the airwaves with fear mongering ads, warning Maine families that legalizing gay unions, would result in homosexuality being taught in the schools. The same strategy was used to defeat gay marriage in California last year.

Maine now has the distinction of being the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage by voters. Only five states, now allow gay marriages, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Maine still grants domestic-partnership status to same-sex couples, as well as about seven other states.



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