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Battlefield Report: The Maine Marriage-Equality Story That Will Break Your Heart

We’ve just about a week until marriage equality comes to a public referendum in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. As we near the big day, Queerty is zooming in on the fights in these battleground states.

The polls in Maine look good: Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Mainers United for Marriage, 56.6% of   resident of the Pine Tree State are voting in favor Question 1—which legalizes same-sex marriage in the state—as compared to 39% who oppose it.

But we can’t count our chickens just yet: The Maine Legislature passed a marriage-equality law before, in 2009, but it was repealed by referendum before it could even be enacted.

In the video above, 68-year-old Joseph Stackpole reflects on his impending death from a rare strain of  leukemia. Stackpole and his partner of 16 years, 70-year-old Richard Johnson, were wed in Massachusetts but the lifelong Mainer wants to survive long enough to see same-sex marriage passed in his home state. “Suddenly your life could end any day,” Stackpole says, “and you’re leaving behind a husband who depends upon you and loves you.”

Don’t think anti-equality forces are moved by Stackpole’s words: On Thursday, former Portland Bishop Richard Malone claimed that supporting Question 1 was “unfaithful to Catholic doctrine” and that Catholics who voted for it were in opposition to the teachings of the Church.

And new ads running in Maine paint gay-marriage foes as victims of an intolerant queer agenda—in one, the owners of Vermont’s Wildflower Inn claim they had to pay a $30,000 settlement after refusing to book a lesbian wedding. Of course, the O’Reilly’s got into hot water because they broke Vermont’s 1992 anti-discrimination statute, not its marriage-equality law.

But lets not complicate things with facts.

To find out how to get involved, visit the Mainers United website.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Oct 28, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

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