Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Maine voters repealed a law Tuesday allowing same-sex couples to wed, dealing the gay marriage rights movement its 31st defeat on the issue. Gay marriage has now lost in every single state in which civil rights are left up to the voters.
A number activists have asked why I didn’t use my voice and my blog to advocate more often on behalf of Maine. So let me respond.
First, I’ve written a number of pieces analyzing where the money came from used to fund the antigay marriage effort in Maine. The vast majority came from just two sources: the National Organization for Marriage and the Catholic Church.
Second, I stayed away from the finger pointing and mudslinging leading up to the vote because I know all-too-well what the record is when marriage equality is decided by the voters and it always favors the religious bigots. Hate is a powerful motivator and it turned out that Maine — thought to have a moderate, independent-minded electorate, is no different from Texas or Florida.
I am not remotely surprised by the vote in Maine. That’s not to say I’m not disappointed and even angry — I’m just not surprised. I mean, if gay marriage can’t win in California, was it ever realistic to expect a different outcome in Maine?
For years I have said civil rights have no place on the ballot. If gay activists are serious about expanding the definition of “marriage” to include same-sex couples, the only sure fire way to make this a reality is to challenge the issue as a Federal constitutional matter before the U.S. Supreme Court. Is such a move fraught with risks? Of course but as it stands, antigay marriage advocates are 0-for-31. Gay marriage equality is too important to be left up to individual states.