Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Videos in the Maine Marriage Equality Debate

One of the saddest displays of anti-equality rhetoric was showcased last year in the build-up to the infamous “proposition 8” vote in California. “Prop 8” banned marriage for gay and lesbian couples, a right that was granted only months before in the golden state. Videos paid for by opponents of gay marriage played on peoples’ fears that somehow, marriage equality for all citizens would degrade the institution of the family, and that homosexuality would somehow invade schools.

The same rhetoric is now being tossed around in Maine (which similarly just allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry) in videos that are eerily similar to the Prop 8 versions.

The videos are posted here:

We believe that folks all across the United States should have the right to marry whom they choose. Marriage equality has existed in the commonwealth for five years – a fact that we’re incredibly proud of.

Our friends at the Maine ACLU affiliate are currently working to promote fairness and equality under the law – see their own recent video here:

Here’s a cogent explanation of the current situation, via MCLU’s site:

On May 6, 2009, Governor John Baldacci signed "An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom" into law.

The effort to pass marriage equality in the Legislature was the result of a strong campaign effort led by the MCLU, EqualityMaine, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Maine Women's Lobby. We collaborated with over 30 other non-profit organizations and the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, comprised of over 150 religious leaders from fourteen different religious denominations.

Opponents of marriage equality for all Maine people are presently gathering signatures in a petition drive to overturn the new law. MCLU Executive Director Shenna Bellows is on the steering committee of the Maine Freedom to Marry campaign preparing to defend the new law, which would be voted on in November 2009 or June 2010, if the opponents get the required number of signatures.”

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