equality ping-ponging

Maine Is At It Again: Marriage Equality May be Going Back to the Ballot

Today Methodist Pastor Michael Gray submitted the following language to the Maine Secretary of State for review:

“Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?”

Once approved by the State, EqualityMaine will begin the process of collecting 57,277 signatures to get the question on the ballot in November. Here we go again.

Question 1 in 2009 was submitted by the other team and read:

“Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”

So what once was a “no” vote to support same-sex marriage in 2009, will now be a “yes” vote in 2011. That’s not confusing at all. The National Organization for Marriage pumped $1.1 million out of state dollars into that sucker and Question 1 passed by a 5.5% margin. This newest announcement comes after 18 months of public education to support same-sex marriage. Gay Marriage Watch reports that two polls show 53% of Mainers support marriage equality. The trick will be getting them all to vote.

In all of this equality ping-ponging, the question of a citizen’s initiative still remains a hot topic. Should people have the right to vote on same-sex marriage or should it be a constitutionally protected right?

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  • Michael

    Where does NOM get their money? I’d place whatever bet was needed that if their paper trail was followed it would blow up their whole organization.

  • Jeffree

    @Michael: I’ve heard speculation that the LDS & Catholic churches fun NOM, and recently the Koch brothers’ names have been thrown around too. I haven’t seen any evidence.

    NOM is still not opening their books. There have to be deep pockets behind them.

  • Jordan

    Minority rights should never be placed in the hands of the voters. The South would still be segregated if we allowed this. Democracy is certainly nothing more than mob rule so why let the mob rule on such sensitive issues?

  • tjr101

    Convincing the old white homophobes in Maine will be quite a challenge. However I’ll support any initiative that forces NOM to spend their money.

  • SteveC

    But Cam. If NOM is being funded by the catholics and mormons, then its funds are limitless. Those 2 tax-free businesses are extraordinarily rich.

    I hope Maine votes in favor of equality.

  • randy

    The Catholic church took a real beating the last time around. the flock was shocked that they would spend so much money to defeat marriage equality while at the same time closing churches and cutting their services to the poor. It left a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouth, and that won’t help them this time around.

    Plus it sends a message that even if we lose, we’ll be back, and we’ll keep coming back until we win our rights. I’m optimistic that we learn from each battle, even the ones we lose, and each time we win a few more people to our side. EVeryone knows that the demographics are on our side, so at some point we will win. In many ways, this is a battle of attrition – we just keep hammering them until Maggie finally gives up or chokes on a pork chop.

  • Mark

    Just sent my contribution to Equality Maine. We won in New York, now it’s time to retake Maine.

  • ^^^

    You know what Queerty? About half of Republicans in the state of Mississippi don’t support even interracial marriage. This is how far we have to go. Opposition to interracial marriage, which we thought died out half a century ago is still going strong… How crazy is this country? I thought I knew people better than this-I guess I don’t.

  • NovaNardis

    Marriage equality should be a constitutionally protected right under the 14th Amendment. Be that as it may, we have no met with the final success the LGBT community needs at the court level, though I have great faith in the Perry case.

    So we should seek equality at the ballot box in places where we can earn it.

  • robert in NYC

    I’m the one who has been suggesting the Koch brothers are the biggest funder of this hate group. I can’t prove it, but after reading about who these men are and what they represent, I wouldn’t mine betting they are its financial backers. It’s also a front for the roman cult which is why Srivastava-Gallagher refuses to open her books. NOM has unlimited funds, millions to spend in any state. It seems the more defeats it suffers, the more money comes pouring in. No civil issue should be put to referenda, ever. This should be a constitutional issue using the 14th amendment.

  • robert in NYC

    Let’s now support Maine, California and Illinois. Rahm Emmanuel has a video apparently calling for marriage equality in his state.

  • Cam

    @SteveC: said…

    “But Cam. If NOM is being funded by the catholics and mormons, then its funds are limitless. Those 2 tax-free businesses are extraordinarily rich.”

    Not really, the CAtholics have had massive payouts for their nasty habit of abuse. The Mormon Church has taken a bath on some extreamly bad real estate investments in Florida and Utah. So let them keep pouring their money into this.

    And I just LOVE that religious phony red hearing that these groups keep wanting to have inserted into the language.

    In typical Conservative fasion none of them seem to know the Constitution. A CAtholic Preist, CANN’T be forced to marry a Jewish couple who comes into their church. A Muslim Cleric can’t be forced to marry a Baptist couple etc… No religioun has ever been forced to marry somebody not a member of their church if they did not choose. This is portected by the constitution. But once again, Conservatives seem to not have bothered to read the document they pretend to love.

  • robert in NYC

    Cam, the roman cult already discriminates against straight catholics who divorce. It will marry a mixed faith couple if one is a catholic and the non-catholic has to promise to raise any children as catholics. It does not marry any couple who aren’t catholics, unlike some other “christian” cults.

  • robert in NYC

    I don’t think the state should be issuing secular marriage licenses to people who intend to have a religious marriage. All marriages should be bound by the civil ceremony, let those who want solemnization in a religious ceremony have it, after the fact, just like France and some other countries do. After all, the secular state issues marriage licenses and shouldn’t be supporting religious marriages of any kind.

  • Cam

    @robert in NYC:

    That was my point, the churches aleady legally refuse to marry people that aren’t members of their church, so pretending that they think they will have to marry gays is a phony ploy to make people think that churches will be forced to do something that the Constitution frees them of.

    If chruches could be forced to accept people, then the Mormons wouldn’t have been allowed to keep blacks out of their membership fully until around 1980 and Catholics still wouldn’t be allowed to prevent women from being preists.

  • robert in NYC

    Cam, and nobody in our state legislature brought it up when they were revamping the language for added protections for religious denominations. I still have a problem with it if their affiliates are receiving state funds for faith based initiatives. Its wrong. In the UK, catholic adoption agencies that receive government funding and private guest houses run by “christians”, as well as registrars aren’t allowed to discriminate. They always lose when they take legal action. Meanwhile, already there has been one county clerk in upstate NY who said he or she will not participate and will probably get away with it. They’re paid by state taxpayers too.

  • Cam

    @robert in NYC:

    I am not talking about people trying to not accept gay customers because of their religious belief. I am talking about churches being forced to marry somebody who is not a member of their church. That cannot happen because of our constitution.

    Some Pharmacist not wanting to provide birth control pills because they are Catholic is illegal and their beliefs are irrelevent, even though the GOP tried to pass an exemption a few years ago to that and failed.

  • robert in NYC

    Cam, I know you’re not, quite understand.

  • DS

    @Michael: My guess is Howard Ahmanson Jr. A look into his background will acquaint you with R.J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism. Charming, huh?

  • Shannon1981

    I want NOM’s financial records. That is a lot of dough. Where is it coming from? Without them cockblocking across the country, we’d have marriage equality almost everywhere above the Mason Dixon Line by now.

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