traveling activists

The Nationwide Caravans Headed to Maine to Blow Up Question 1


While California activists trade barbs over whether 2010 or 2012 is the right time to repeal Prop 8, and how many (tens of) millions are required for a robust marriage equality campaign, the folks in Maine are facing an equally dire situation — on a much smaller scale. Just 500,000 people are expected to vote in November, where Maine’s same-sex marriage law will be up for a vote. And the estimated budget to reach enough supporters to vote No On 1? Just $3 million.

Maine’s marriage rights were secured by the legislature, and under state law that decision can be reversed (or affirmed) by the people, which is what will happen Nov. 3. Which is why we’re thrilled to hear Travel for Change, the grassroots organization that facilitated sending Barack Obama volunteers to swing states during the presidential campaign, is getting in on things. California sent more travelers than any other state, relays Beyond Chron, and now the same website, co-founded by Jay Jonah Cash (who aided the Obama campaign from San Francisco), has formed a PAC to raise money to do the same thing for Maine’s marriage equality fight.

Volunteers with a few days or a week to spare before November will find resources to get their butts to Maine, where they can go door-to-door, canvassing the state to drum up support for November’s No On 1 vote. Writes Paul Hogarth:

The campaign encourages out-of-state volunteers to devote one week in October for a Volunteer Vacation – where they will place you in one of the campaign offices to assist the field effort. Maine is a beautiful place in October, and the campaign will need all hands on deck. I signed up to go during the first week of October, after the early absentee ballots get mailed out.

It’s not hard to see why Californians should get involved. While we argue with each other about when to repeal Prop 8 (2010 vs. 2012), losing Maine in 2009 could set back the movement. Conversely, a Maine victory would give momentum to repealing Prop 8 – regardless of when it eventually gets back on the ballot. And the election will be over in two months.

Plus, it will give you something to tweet about.