Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Pain in Maine Feels All Too Much the Same

Maine: How could you do this to me?

Watching the election results roll in via the Internet last night, I suddenly felt myself reliving a nightmare. At first, the No on One campaign was succeeding. Portland, Auburn, Kennebunkport... all of them saying in one voice, "No One" tells Mainers to reject their gay neighbors.

But then the rural areas began reporting in, and the margin narrowed... and then it flipped. And by the time I was going to bed, the margin had widened to 53-47 percent against the gay community... again.

Maine: How could you do this to me?

I know we fell back an hour Saturday night, but this feels as if we have fallen back a full year. When I read the story of the tears of my Maine brothers and sisters at seeing hope snatched away by popular vote, I knew those tears. I lived this last year in Florida, where we had no hope of marriage to begin with, and then the voters decided to make it even more so. And the nagging question of "Why?" is on the lips of same-sex couples wanting to protect their relationships in the same way as their straight siblings.

The Associated Press notes that the leaders of the anti-LGBT marriage camp were trumpeting this vote as a victory for traditional marriage. And again I wonder how one couple's marriage threatens or diminishes another's. What are they trying to protect except to keep other people from being able to enjoy the same legal protections?

Maine: How could you do this to me?

Also on the ballot in Maine was a question to allow for the creation of a Medicinal Marijuana Act. That passed with 59-percent of the vote. So Mainers are willing to protect pot smokers, but not queer couples. Was there no outcry to protect traditional medicine, so drug companies can make more profit on the pain of a cancer patient? Apparently not.

A bright spot in all of this is Kalamazoo, Michigan, where the people overwhelmingly approved an ordinance that protects LGBT people from being fired from their jobs or denied housing or accommodations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That IS different than 2008. I'm still unable to find results from Washington State's vote on the domestic partnership law, but that vote apparently was also close.

But Maine. Maine! Have you not seen how nothing horrible has happened to your neighbors in New Hampshire as a result of "gay marriage"? Does your proximity to Canada not demonstrate that a country doesn't go belly-up if the civil authorities allow LGBT couples the access to marriage rights?

I suppose the silver-lining is that the vote was 53-47... unlike Florida's 61-39 a year ago. But there is no rejoicing for me in a world that allows majority votes on rights conferred onto a minority group.

Shame on Maine.


BW said...

First we grieve, then we fight.


SCG said...

Absolutely, BW!

frdougal said...

Blast it! Sympathy from over the water.

SCG said...

Thanks, frdougal! This ain't over...

Anonymous said...

Portland came through, but I can't understand why not York County, like Kittery, etc. It was so sad.

The North Country in ME is a bitch.


SCG said...

There's a reason we natives of New Hampshire sometimes refer to Mainers as "Maniacs".