Marriage Equality

The Morning After

The Roman Catholic Diocese loaned its Public Affairs Director to the campaign against marriage equality, and last night he claimed to have been the little guy going up against the big guy.

There is a huge irony in people who suffered discrimination for being Catholic or for being Franco-American claiming their "little guy" roots as they work together to deny rights to another class of people.

It is, dare I say it, un-Christly.

(And in its definitions of traditional marriage, laughably un-Biblical.)

But these are the people whose Supreme Leader would deny women's call to ordained ministry, who is eagerly waiting to scoop up disaffected Anglicans around the world.

Don't be deceived. This attitude toward LGBT people is also an attitude toward women. It's institutionalized, and it's unloving.

My job this morning after is to find a way to love people who hate and fear.

Because love never fails.

I believe that. I have to believe that.

Four years ago we defeated a people's veto similar to this one, aimed at overturning a new law extending anti-discrimination rights to gay people. It was not the first campaign for, and against, those rights.

And this will not be the last effort to extend the right to marry to all people.

I'm angry this morning, but I believe that it's a message of love that will win in the end. And so I will pray, and get mad, and pray again. And strive to love.

Marriage Equality

No on 1

No on 1 vote earlyIt's Election Day.

Everyone in my family who is going to vote has done it already. We won't be going to the polls in person. In my case, I gave up my "vote on election day" heroism to show my support for the "Vote Early" effort mounted by the No on 1 campaign. The organizers understood that their supporters were young and did not have a voting history yet, that they had turned out for a Presidential election last year but might not be as likely to get to the polls within a certain window of time in this Off-Off Election Year.

I mailed my absentee ballot almost a month ago.

I marked the No on Question 1 carefully. There were other matters on the ballot, but this is the one driving my participation.

When Pure Luck and I decided to get married, we didn't have to ask anyone's permission. No one said, "You two have already failed at this marriage thing. Forget it!" But we had. No one said, "Hmm, a woman with three children and a man with none, that seems odd. Forget it!" But that's who we were. No one asked, "Are you sure you have proper judgment about who you are marrying this time?" Because it didn't work out so well the first time, for either of us, even though we married perfectly fine people in all other areas.

No one had the right to keep us from marrying the person we loved.

All we had to do was get the paperwork in order and find someone willing to officiate and sign the license.

There may be something to be said for making people work harder to have the rights we have. We can inherit each other's money and make medical decisions for one another. No one can keep us apart in the Emergency Room. No one can make us testify against each other.

But there is no justification for making it harder based on the anatomy of the people we love.

Churches have been part of this campaign, on both sides of the question. One side, those opposed to same-sex marriage, has focused on fear. The other side, the side I'm proud to be part of today, has focused on love. And so I ask people of faith in Maine, will you vote today based on fear, or on love?

If love is your answer, vote No on 1.

Marriage Equality, Politics

Vote Early

No on 1

We’re in the midst of a campaign to preserve our new law allowing same-sex marriage in Maine. Out-of-state money and ads remade from the Prop 8 fight in California claim to represent Maine Values, but our side is fighting back with good ads and strong volunteer efforts.

I volunteered at the Marriage Equality phone bank the other night. I say this not to garner praise; it was a pretty small contribution of time and effort, all things considered.

But here’s what I found fascinating.

We were calling identified supporters (mostly true) to ask them to vote early. This is a strategy devised to boost turnout, since many of the supporters of same-sex marriage are not people who have a history of voting regularly. Maine traditionally has good voter turnout, but this is an off-year election, so it’s clear the get-out-the-vote effort will matter a lot. Southern Maine organizers of the campaign have devised a script and a philosophy that works for younger, urban voters who, quite honestly, are the most likely to get busy on Election Day and forget to go to the polls.

My call list, however, was to small towns on the coast and in more interior sections of Maine. And I’m here to tell you that Maine Values in those small towns include going to the polls to vote. The idea of voting early seemed absurd! Absurd. If I live three doors or three blocks from the polling place, in a town with no traffic, in a town where I see all my neighbors when I go to vote, why would I want to vote absentee?

Now, the advantage to the campaign is clear once it’s explained. Every week the Secretary of State will publish a list of those who have voted, and the Marriage Equality campaign will cross-check that list with its list of identified supporters and stop calling those who have voted. It both helps with “turn out” and allows the resources to be turned in other directions, to undecided voters.

So, I got the message I preached, and this morning, I applied online for an absentee ballot.

If you live in Maine, and you are planning to vote No on 1 (yes, I know that’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the way you need to vote to support same-sex marriage here), please consider clicking here and requesting an absentee ballot. Please think about voting early.

And if you’re related to me–Snowman will be voting absentee, if he remembers to request a ballot–just do it. Thanks.

Because whenever and however you do it, voting is a Maine Value.