Maine’s Gay Marriage Advocates Need More Face Time, More Phillip, Less Wanton Fearmongering Distractions

Marriage Equality Fight in Maine

by Nate Silver

“Most of No on 1’s advantage is based on its substantial edge in fundraising from within the state of Maine.”

With the vote in Maine only a week or so away, both sides are debating the issue on air. When asked about Yes on 1’s relentless insistence that marriage equality would corrupt schools and churches and recruit children, Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director at the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and a consultant to No on 1/Protect Maine Equality, says that “the schools issue is a distraction.” Edge Boston summarizes her argument: “The statute doesn’t require schools to teach about same-sex couples’ sexuality, but educators should acknowledge equality. Kids come from all sorts of different families. Schools want to make sure they all are safe and respected.”

Autostraddle Wonders: See, you’d think the “Yes on 1” people would’ve noticed by now that YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE GAYS. Kids will find out that they exist. But knowing that something is suitable for premium cable television is forbidden in your classroom is a dangerous message to send, and it’s one that reinforces the fear, shame & otherness which contributes to alarmingly high suicide and depression rates amongst gay teens as well as a lack of productive outlets for confusing sexual feelings.

Oh. Whoops! That was logic we were using just then, and admitting that homosexuality isn’t a problem your church can fix.

Andrew Sullivan for The Atlantic in August 2009:

In fact, a great deal of this symbolism has to do with gay kids more than adults. If you are part of a family and your society tells you at an early age that you can have no family, no spouse and no integration into the world alongside your brothers and sisters in the future as an adult, that’s a brutal psychic wound that leads to all sorts of subsequent problems and pathologies.

Money is pouring in from all sides, and per ushe the anti-equality camp has plenty coming in from the outside, like Focus On The Family Donating Nearly $100,000 To Maine Gay Marriage Ban Movement.

The Maine anti-equality warriors have taken to the newspapers, telling their citizens in Maine Residents Should Vote “Yes” on Question 1 that Proposition 1 isn’t about equality (b/c everything is allegedly equal in civil unions, which Maine already has) and it’s not about discrimination either, it’s “about forcing or imposing the gay/lesbian community’s will and morality on people who believe it contradicts their morality. And once it has the power of law behind it, it will eventually foster things like forcing ministers, priests, rabbis, etc., to officiate at these “weddings,” or their churches/synagogues lose their tax status and worse.” Oh Lord. Why are churches getting government funding to begin with? If you want to be independent from the government w/r/t your religious beliefs, then you can’t take the government’s money. Let’s not get all AIGey up in here.

AND Governor Baldacci points out that he opposed the measure initially until he learned that civil unions were not equal to civil marriage.

Matt Foreman argues that our calm & rational counter-arguments to Anti-Equality Maine’s ridiculous “teh gays will steal your children” ads aren’t gonna do it this time: when it comes to marriage, ads cannot do it – they must be matched with face-to-face conversations with voters.

Have you seen Phillip yet? You should. It will make your heart burst and you’ll want to send it to your parents:

If you doubt the extent to which this law will affect you, this piece from HuffPo will change your mind. In ‘Save for Retirement Week’ Rings Hollow for Gay and Lesbian Couples, Naomi G. Goldberg and Michael Steinberger point out that because marriage isn’t recognized under federal law, same-sex couples are often unable to provide for themselves after retirement. When a straight spouse dies, the balance of their 401K can be transferred without a tax bill and consequently at age 70.5, the spouse can begin taking money from this retirement account. The same-sex spouse will lose nearly half of every amount over $3.5 million due to the estate tax. Those with large estates will find same-sex spouses paying estate taxes that straight spouses are entirely exempt from.

Another interesting read from Truth Dig:

HATE CRIMES: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon’s budget, which includes $130 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This clever packaging enabled the Hate Crimes act to be passed by making it seem okay for Republicans and more conservative democrats to vote it through without taking a definitive stance on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In War is a Hate Crime, Chris Hedges argues that violence against people in Afghanistan and Iraq is also wrong and “in the bizarre culture of identity politics, there are no alliances among the oppressed.”

The brutality of Matthew Shepard’s killers, who beat him to death for being gay, is a product of a culture that glorifies violence and sadism. It is the product of a militarized culture … [which] attacks all that is culturally defined as the feminine, including love, gentleness, compassion and acceptance of difference.

To that end, we can only argue that Hate Crime Law or no, it’s likely the additional spending would have made it through Congress either way. Regardless, his point is excellent and valid. We do need to address the source of this violent culture that glorifies a specific sort of masculinity and power.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. wow that phillip spooner piece really kicked my ass. i believe my heart grew three sizes today! also – TAX THE CHURCH!

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  4. Phillip Spooner’s speech was beautiful for sure. He seemed so sad to have to argue for what is right. That’s what got me the most.

  5. Here in WA state we are also just over a week away from the elections, where Ref 71 is being voted on. It is the EVERYTHING BUT MARRIAGE law that WA is trying to get. From what I gather, we will have all the rights, but we are not allowed to call it marriage. If we do, we get put in time out, with no ice cream after dinner. Fine by me, I needz my ice cream.


    It screamed at me, but I approved it anyway. It’s better to me to comply FOR NOW with this ridiculous legislature because so many others don’t have anything protecting them, and I am a begger and therefore not a chooser. Judge me if you must, but I need this protection right now. I just better stay in WA and not get hurt in a state where they still hate me and my gf, or else I’m in the same position I was in before the legislature passed*

    *it has not passed yet, that is me having high hopes and FAITH IN G-D!

    In happier news, my gf and I are secretly going to get an EVERYTHING BUT MARRIAGE marriage when it passes. We are not ready to celebrate it, so it’ll just be another piece of paper we post up on the fridge. Until we are ready to get all gussied up like Portia and Ellen and do it up wedding style, we will just know that we are protected should anything happen to us or our baby*! Our invitations will read “Please join us in the Union/Marriage/[insert your own safe word here]/joining of 2 lovers/non-marriage/whatever the kids are calling it these days of Leah and Donia…”
    *baby coming soon

    • maybe we should make up a new word for every “kind” of marriage we can have. like if it’s a heterosexual union and the woman is more than 20 years older, we probably shouldn’t call it marriage, we should call it a “cougar/prey fusion” or if it’s a gay union and both the guys have beards that are longer than 5 inches, it’s called a “dumbledore alliance.” just an idea.

      • if it’s a gay union and both the guys have beards that are longer than 5 inches, it’s called a “dumbledore alliance.”

        I just laughed SO HARD. I think my ribs cracked.

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