"These conversations have begun," Bellow says. But they won't likely conclude for some time. "We are committed to continuing this marriage equality campaign in the most effective and efficient way. We want to make sure all Maine families are protected as quickly as possible." But, she adds, "I think it's really important that our decisions be made not on one person's personal opinion, but a careful, thorough analysis of all avenues. To do that analysis is going to take some time. The worst thing would be to act in undue haste and lose." (Again.)
In the meantime, leaders of the pro-marriage movement are stressing the continued relevance of working strategies such as the Family Ambassadors Project, which encourages parents of school-age children to talk about same-sex marriage in their communities; and the faith-based conversations spurred by the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in Maine.
A different perspective is from those who are happy to get back to non-marriage matters. Throughout this and other gay-marriage campaigns, some queer activists have expressed their own discomfort about feeling obligated to fight for an institution about which they feel ambivalent, while other essential battles — against HIV/AIDS, homelessness, domestic violence, and general discrimination — struggle for money and media attention. Now, some of those battles can reclaim center stage. Just two days after the election, for example, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force submitted testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, supporting for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace (and which both Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins support). The Senate committee held a hearing on the legislation last Thursday.
: This Just In
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