Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maine Faces Marriage Equality Voter Referendum, Brought to You By the Makers of Yes on 8

It's deja vu all over again.

Maine, who recently legalized marriage equality, is now facing a voter referendum to ban it, and it's brought to you by the makers of Prop 8! It hasn't even been a year since they squashed the rights of LGBT in California, but they're now trekking to the opposite end of the country to do the same there.

The public relations firm Schubert Flint Public Affairs, headed by Frank Schubert who was a primary drive behind Yes on 8, will manage the campaign as it did in California and are organizing volunteers to collect 55,087 signatures of registered Maine voters to put the question on the November ballot.

But this time, things are different. Maine has the advantage of learning from California's mistakes and they are NOT taking any chances. They're organizing themselves quickly and efficiently. On top of that, they have the rebirth of the LGBT rights movement, of which Prop 8 was the catalyst, and its momentum.

Basically, it's a rematch between the creators of Prop 8 and the LGBT they pissed off. And let's not forget the National Organization for Marriage and the Catholic Church, the state's equivalent to California's Mormons, are rank and file as well.

Maine Freedom to Marry is the state's new LGBT political action committee preparing for the showdown. In their press release, they state, "Numerous resources that have been vital to the marriage effort to date will now be coordinated under the auspices of Maine Freedom to Marry. These resources include the field organization and volunteer base developed by EqualityMaine, the legal expertise of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and the legal and public outreach capacity of the Maine Civil Liberties Union."

They announced Wednesday it hired Jesse Connolly of South Portland, who is taking a leave of absence as chief of staff to House Speaker Hannah Pingree to manage the campaign. Connolly led the successful 2005 campaign to retain the state's gay rights law.

ACTION: As we all know, campaigns need money, and they really need our help. Go here to donate funds to the campaign through America Blog.

To get involved locally, go to Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition and EqualityMaine.

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