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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Maine

Prop. 1: Events leading up to the vote
From 2009-SEP-23 to
OCT-17

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Previous developments

2009-SEP-23: Maine pediatricians support SSM:

The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians published its support for SSM and its opposition to Prop 1. Their president, Dr. Jonathan Fanburg, said:

"Children who are raised by legally married parents benefit from the legal status granted to their parents. What is good for parents and families is good for children,"

A statement released by the Chapter states, in part:

"As physicians who care for children and their families, we are committed to supporting what is best for children. And there is no question that when their parents can marry, children are more protected legally and socially."

Dr. Dan Summers, an Augusta pediatrician, said:

"As physicians who care for children and their families, we are committed to supporting what is best for children. And there is no question that when their parents can marry, children are more protected legally and socially."

"Marriage equality is the right thing for Maine's children, and will strengthen and protect families who have lacked legal recognition for too long. As pediatricians, we see how supportive parents -- whether gay or straight -- positively impact the development of children. That is why we oppose the referendum that would rescind the law that allows same sex couples to marry. ..."

The American Academy of Pediatricians has conducted a national study on families. It concluded that marriage "... promotes healthy families by conferring a powerful set of rights, benefits, and protections that cannot be obtained by other means." 1,2

2009-OCT-15: Catholics donate via collection plates:

Forty-one thousand dollars was collected at masses in Maine during 2009-SEP as donations to the fight against same-sex marriage. In addition, an unknown amount was placed in envelopes to be sent directly to the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign. 6

2009-OCT-15: Funding for and against Question 1:

There are a number of Ballot Question committees (BQC) and Political Action Committees (PAC) registered for Question 1. Contributions are as reported by the Maine government as of 2009-OCT-17:

Opposed to Question 1/In favor of marriage equality are mainly secular organizations:

bulletEquality Maine (BQC)  $74.5 k
bulletGay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) (BQC) $44.0 k
bulletMaine People's Resource Center (BQC) $25.9 k
bulletReligious Coalition Against Discrimination (BQC) $0.0 k
bulletEquality Maine PAC (PAC) $63.6 k
bulletHuman Rights Campaign Maine Marriage PAC (PAC) $134.3 k
bulletMaine National Organization for Women PAC (PAC) $0.8 k
bulletNo on 1 Protect Maine Equality (PAC) 2,699.7 k
bulletTFC Maine PAC (PAC) $ 0.0 k
bulletTotal contributions: $ 3,042.8 k

 

Supporting Question 1 / opposed to marriage equality are mainly conservative Christian groups:

bulletFamily Research Council Action (BQC) $25.0 k
bulletRoman Catholic Diocese of Portland (BQC) $389.3 k
bulletFocus on the Family Maine Marriage Committee (PAC) $98.5 k
bulletMaine Marriage Initiative PAC (PAC) $0.0 k
bulletMaine Marriage PAC (PAC) $9.5 k
bulletMaine4Marriage (PAC) $0.1 k
bulletMarriage Matters in Maine (PAC) $1.2 k
bulletStandForMarriageMaine.com (PAC) $1,137.9 k
bulletTotal contributions: $ 1,661.5 k

The heavy hitters are two PACs: No on 1 Protect Maine Equality (PAC) in favor of marriage equality, and StandForMarriageMaine.com opposed. Supporters of marriage equality out-contributed the opposition by almost two to one. 4

According to "Irregular Times:"

86.4% of the $1,193,323.83 raised by Stand for Marriage Maine in the 3rd Quarter of 2009 ... comes from just four sources:

1. The Knights of Columbus
2. The National Organization for Marriage
3. Focus on the Family
4. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland 5

All of these are religious groups.

2009-OCT-17: Bangor Daily News supports SSM:

The Bangor Daily News (BDN) staff endorsed a "NO" vote on Question 1.

They wrote, in part:

"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?"

"Mainers have heard a lot in recent weeks about the consequences of allowing same-sex couples to marry, some of it accurate, some of it not. While such debate is healthy, this question boils down to a simple point: Everyone must be treated equally under the state and U.S. Constitution. Denying civil marriage rights to same-sex couples violates that tenet."

"Further, extending the right of marriage to a small segment of the population that has been excluded furthers the state's interest in promoting stable families and communities. The Maine legislation also took important steps, mirroring the state's Human Rights Law, to respect religious freedom and traditions. No church will be compelled to perform or recognize marriages that run counter to its faith. This strikes the difficult balance of respecting religious freedom while ensuring equality. ..."

"The repeal effort has been led by the Roman Catholic Diocese. Bishop Richard Malone called same-sex marriage 'a dangerous sociological experiment.' The fact that gay couples have existed for generations -- many of them raising children -- counters this argument. Worse, however, is the church's attempt to force its views on all Maine's residents, whether they are Catholic or not."

" 'It's important to have your own faith and connection to God,' Gov. Baldacci, a Catholic, told The Associated Press recently. 'At the same time, it isn't just that faith that you're the governor of. -- You're governor of all the people'."

"Taking the next step, the governor explained why civil unions -- a popular alternative to same-sex marriage -- are inadequate. 'I was creating second-class marriage for certain people, which wasn't right. I wasn't doing my duty to the constitution I swore to uphold'."

"It is only natural that changing the definition of something as fundamental as marriage makes some uncomfortable. However, marriage has changed over time -- interracial marriages were once banned, and men were allowed to have many wives -- without harming heterosexual marriages. In a country where the divorce rate is too high and too many children grow up in dysfunctional and abusive families, encouraging more adults to commit to long-term, loving relationships is a positive, not a negative."

"Opponents of same-sex marriage warn of the consequences -- all negative in their view -- of such a definition change. When pressed to list those consequences, they cite lawsuits and a requirement to teach same-sex marriage in schools."

"There are likely to be lawsuits, as that is how the boundaries of laws are tested and set. At the same time, gays and lesbians are already protected under the state's human rights laws -- a protection Maine voters refused to rescind in 2005 -- so discrimination against them is already illegal and there has been no flood of lawsuits."

"As for education, children are already being raised by gay couples. Those children attend our schools, and have for decades. If Sally's two dads come to an elementary school awards night, or if Billy's two moms come to the school concert, the relationships may become a topic of discussion at school the next day. Whether Sally's or Billy's same-sex parents are married or living together does not change the discussion the teacher might facilitate."

"Along the same lines, those seeking to repeal the law have used the book 'Who's in a Family?' as evidence of homosexual education. The book shows families made up of a mother and father, single parents, grandparents, stepparents, husband and wife with no children, and gay and lesbian parents. 'Who's in a family?' it asks. 'The people who love you most'."

"The strong desire of gay and lesbian couples to be married, rather than declared domestic partners, shows the value and importance of marriage."

"Voting no on Question 1 will reiterate Maine's commitment to equality and acceptance of families of all types while respecting religious traditions and beliefs." 3

Subsequent developments

Site navigation:

Home> Religious info.> Basic> Marriage> SSM> Menu> Maine> here

Home> "Hot" topics> Homosexuality> SSM> Menu> Maine> here

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Kelley Bouchard, "Maine pediatricians support same-sex marriage," posting submitted to the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, 2009-SEP-22, at: http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/
  2. "Those who remedy boo-boos are now working to prevent a historical one," Good As You (GAY), 2009-SEP-22, at: http://www.goodasyou.org/
  3. BDN Staff, "No on question 1," Bangor Daily News, 2009-OCT-17, at: http://www.bangordailynews.com/
  4. "2009 Ballot Questions: People's veto of same-sex marriage law," Governmental Ethics & Election Practices, at: http://www.mainecampaignfinance.com/
  5. Jim, "Fundraising: Maine No on 1 Blows Anti-Gay Forces Out of the Water," Irregular Times, at: http://irregulartimes.com/
  6. "Catholics give thousands to overturn gay marriage law," Main Public Broadcasting Network, 2009-OCT-09, at: http://www.mpbn.net/

Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2009-SEP-23
Latest update: 2009-NOV-05
Author: B.A. Robinson

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