Out of the closet

By AL DIAMON  |  June 3, 2009

It took the surprised opposition almost a month to respond with its own list of religious leaders, by which time Equality Maine was lining up newspaper endorsements. A carefully staged press conference in January marked the bill's introduction. Lots of upright-citizen types and cute kids. A month later, several clean-cut gay couples went to the State House to tell their stories and do a little lobbying. By March, 60 legislators had signed on as co-sponsors. Opponents were still trying to get their message straight (so to speak).

At the April public hearing, backers of the bill (dressed in red so they were easy to spot) outnumbered those against it by four to one. A few days later, Judiciary Committee members came out (well, sorta) in favor. Both the House and Senate gave the bill solid support, and it was promptly signed by Governor John Baldacci, previously an opponent.

None of this happened by accident. It was all planned.

As was the wording of the ballot question opponents hope to use to repeal the law. Instead of mentioning only the same-sex marriage issue, the language approved by the secretary of state (after subtle lobbying by Equality Maine) also says the measure allows churches to refuse to perform such nuptials.

Balanced? Maybe. Slick? You bet.

Six months ago, I'd have given same-sex marriage about the same chance of winning a popular vote in Maine as I'd give Republicans of gaining control of the Legislature: zero. Now, I think the odds are close to even. And the momentum is all going one way.

Those gay people have gotten good at this political stuff.

Hey, is that a new stereotype?

Got a comment? No matter what type — stereo or mono — you can e-mail me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: I'm coming out!, Pride at 39, Ho-Hos and air guitars, More more >
  Topics: Talking Politics , Special Interest Groups, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Same-Sex Marriage,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY AL DIAMON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THIS IS AN OUTRAGE  |  July 16, 2014
    Politics and other mistakes
  •   BETWEEN THE DYING AND THE DEAD  |  July 11, 2014
    Being politically deceased, you’d think Steve Woods would give us a break by putting on a dark suit, lying down in a coffin, and closing his eyes.
  •   ALL THE WRONG CHOICES  |  July 07, 2014
    Reform is in the air. Olympia Snowe and the Portland Press Herald are calling for changes in the way we elect our leaders in order to restore public confidence, end gridlock, and reverse global warming. There’s a much better chance they’ll accomplish that last one than either of the other two.  
  •   INSIDE GAME  |  June 25, 2014
    The university system’s decision to add Demeritt to its roster at a salary of $125,000 a year generated criticism because it was done by ignoring normal hiring procedures and came at a time when the system is facing budget shortfalls, program cuts, and layoffs. Demeritt is going to have to hit a lot of three-pointers to make up for all that negative reaction.
  •   WHICH WAY DO I TURN?  |  June 18, 2014
    Bruce Poliquin has a big problem.

 See all articles by: AL DIAMON