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Activists to urge Maine voters to oppose marriage referendum

by Peter Cassels
Contributor
Wednesday Sep 23, 2009
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Activists and their allies throughout the country continue to answer the call to help Maine preserve its marriage for same-sex couples law. And they will place some on Sunday.

Hundreds of activists will phone Maine voters during a National Day of Action on Sept. 27 to urge them to vote against a referendum on Nov. 3 that would reserve the law enacted earlier this year that extended marriage to gays and lesbians.

With polls showing public opinion on marriage running neck-and-neck in the Pine Tree State, the phone-a-thon is one of a number of strategies activists have implemented against repealing the law. Others include a campaign to get volunteers from around the nation on the ground in the state and an on-line "walk" to raise more than $35,000 in additional donations.

The Equality Federation, a San Francisco-based organization of statewide LGBT groups, has organized this effort. The organization created a "virtual phone bank" with software that will allow callers with a computer and a phone line to contact voters without incurring long-distance charges.

According to Executive Director Toni Broaddus, the federation has emailed an action alert that asks volunteers to sign up on Protect Maine Equality’s Web site to participate.

Groups in Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Hawaii, Georgia, Missouri, Florida and Vermont are among those who have already signed onto the effort. Additional state groups are expected to ask their members to participate. Thus far, the federation and state organizations have asked more than 53,000 people around the country to volunteer to staff the phone banks.

"By the end of this week, we hope to triple that number," Broaddus told EDGE.

Protect Maine Equality has a goal of getting 500 volunteers to staff the phone banks for two and a half hours on Sunday.

"On any given day we have literally dozens of phone banks going on in the state of Maine in communities in all 16 counties," spokesperson Mark Sullivan told EDGE. "But we certainly welcome the support from equality supporters across the nation."

Protect Maine Equality also continues to promote Volunteer Vacation, a program that encourages people to either travel to the state for a week or two or sponsor those who want to go there to help get out the vote. Sullivan said part of the effort is to get Maine residents to vote early by absentee ballot.

No on 1 organizers also has produced a series of radio and television commercials that urge voters to reject the referendum. The first, sponsored by the Equality Maine Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders and the Maine Civil Liberties Union, featured Maine residents. They include the father of two daughters, one a lesbian, who talks about his support of marriage for same-sex couples. In another, a high school student with two moms calls on Maine voters to "do the right thing" and recognize the legal status of same-sex couples.

In mid-September, Stand for Marriage Maine, the organization that placed the referendum on the ballot, aired its first commercial. It focused on how the marriage law would affect school curriculums and "other things that are not true," Sullivan reported.

Referendum opponents responded quickly.

"We counteracted with an ad featuring a teacher who talked about what is actually taught in Maine schools and will continue to be taught," Sullivan said.

Protect Maine Equality’s commercials are airing in all three Maine TV markets: Portland, Bangor and Presque Isle.

Sullivan would not divulge how much money has been donated to the No on 1 campaign, but he said many contributions have come in during the last several weeks and urged more contributions to "combat the efforts of our opponents."

A "Walk Against 1" virtual on-line campaign has a goal of raising one dollar for each of Maine’s 35,855 square miles by Oct. 9. Participants are asked to visit No on 1/Protect Maine Equality’s Web site and set a mileage goal they can share with their friends to provide pledges. Organizers say the funds are needed to fund the field program during the last four weeks, a period they deem "critical."

The most recent figures available on a Maine government ethics committee Web site shows the campaign raised $143,290 during a three-week period in June and early July. The opposition’s political action committee raised $343,659.50 during the first two weeks of June alone.

Peter Cassels is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s Excellence in Journalism award. His e-mail address is pcassels@edgepublications.com.

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2009-09-25 20:00:11

    Sex is nothing more than an itch and is separate from love, sex can also become an addiction. there are all kinds of Love. love for friends, love for children, love for animals,(pets) love for husband or wife.what love are gay talking about?? Sex between a man and a woman is a very sacred thing. Between a husband and wife which have made a commitment to one another, to build a life together, the fulfillment is procreation of having children in their own image and likeness to build a better part of themselves. Sex can be used for a positive or a vary destructive purpose, we all know that. IF sex is all about what one can get out of it, then it really don’t matter how one sexually satisfies oneself, whether that is having sex with a sheep(or other animal) or having some other man suck your duck,, if sex doesn’t’ matter how one satisfies oneself, why should we care if one keeps a sheep in the backyard for sexual relief? Homosexuality is a Hoax, and is an excuses for ones sexual behavior, when i say its a hoax I mean that our government and other organization are lying to us(the people of this great nation) its a fact that homosexuality is not do to genetics, and if its not a mental disorder then it is a perversion of the ACT of sex. in 1973. On December 15, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association, removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives adopted the same measure on January 24-26, 1975. Just as today, the Democrats had reclaimed control of both chambers of the Legislature in 1973 Another lie that the government and organization which promotes homosexuality is that some people are born attracted to the same sex . this is a lie, fact is that a dominate Butch dike lesbian will dress and fix themselves up like a man to attract a more submissive lesbian female to simulate a male and female relationship.? and the male submissive will dress and look like a women to attract a more dominate male type.?? Two man are not equal to a man and woman, their is no equality in the relationship, they are separate in relationship, marriage is govern by the protection of the children involved. also the function between a man and woman are different. Now you can argue that their are similarity’s But not the same. therefore under a different title and category is appropriate. Nobody is denying gay from sharing property and living a life together.. But gays thinks they are entitled to the title of marriage, man and woman equal biological children. Man has a problem with keeping their sexual organ in the proper place. - The survey, released last year (2005), showed that 38.2 percent of men between 20 and 39 and 32.6 percent of women ages 18 to 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex. Compare that with the CDC’s 1992 National Health and Social Life survey, which found that only 25.6 percent of men 18 to 59 and 20.4 percent of women 18 to 59 indulged in it. some men are sick individual anal sex can cause colon cancer and other infections. Plus i don’t think two man should adopt children?


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