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
  •   TAKE THE GAMBLE  |  September 19, 2014
    Governments need stuff to regulate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need governments.  
  •   THE E.C. PLAN  |  September 12, 2014
    Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler has proposed a much-needed change in the way Maine chooses its governor. Under the Cutler plan, the only people allowed to run would be those with the initials E.C.  
  •   PIMPING AND PANDERING  |  September 03, 2014
    And so, the excitement of the fall political campaigns begins.  
  •   BEAR WITH ME  |  August 31, 2014
    It’s the fall of 2015. A bear walks into a doughnut shop in Portland and says, “Give me two dozen assorted to go.”  
  •   LOOK OUT, CLEVELAND  |  August 21, 2014
    Eric Brakey is an energetic guy. But as an admirer of sloth, I have intense disdain for the excessively active.  

 See all articles by: AL DIAMON