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Here we are just days before the one year anniversary of the passage of Prop 8 and on the opposite side of the country, a mirror reflection of last year's election is occurring in Maine.
Once again, extremist and LDS front groups are laundering money, funneling it into the state, and now Maine is in the midst of its very own Prop 8. Known to Mainers as “Question 1,” the same lies and misinformation are again being broadcast over the airwaves as yet another baffling ballot measure goes before voters.
Even in Hillcrest people were confused by Prop 8, since a “no” vote meant yes to equality. I can’t even begin to count the number of conversations I had before and after our election, trying to help people understand what a yes or no vote meant. Maine’s Question 1 is perhaps even more befuddling.
“Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”
Would you or your family know how to vote if that’s all they read?
Not to let this attack go unanswered, San Diegans have sprung into action. Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) and Equality California have been hosting phone banks to Maine nearly every other day and will continue to do so until Election Day. Their big push is for a coalition “Get Out The Vote” phone bank Sunday, November 1st from 1-5 P.M. in the old No on 8 building at 301 University Avenue.
In addition to donating dollars to the campaign, or community has also donated their air miles.
Already this month, MEUSA’s San Diego chapter has sent six organizers to the Pine Tree State. Other groups like the Human Rights Campaign, EQCA, Stonewall Young Dems and the San Diego Democratic Club all have members and staff headed out to the brisk Maine autumn weather for a week or more each of campaigning (and maybe some lobster). At this time, I guestimate the number of San Diegans heading back east is in the 20s. Considering the state has a population which equates roughly to the size of this city, every campaigner for equality stands to make a huge difference.
Field work and donations aren’t the only things coming out of San Diego to challenge this repeat cycle of the anti-gay echo. Californians Against Hate (CAH) has been keeping the fear-mongers from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and other anti-family groups on their toes. Thanks to the work of CAH's founder, Fred Karger, the NOM and other groups are now facing investigation by the Maine Ethics Committee - helping to keep these evildoers focused on saving their own asses rather than their plots of discrimination.
Maine is in the auspicious place of having the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made during Prop 8. One noticeable difference is the speed of which we are able to answer the oppositions TV ads. A plus and minus is a lack of large urban centers which make it more difficult for either side to organize - bonus points to us since this means there aren’t many über anti-gay mega church epicenters of discrimination for the bad-guys to rely on.
The polls are close and projections show that we actually have a good chance of winning this one. That would make Maine the first state to block a marriage ban. San Diegans have been doing a commendable job of fighting to win back marriage in California; and now as yet another state is in need, our Love Warriors are answering the call of duty and making us proud. No on Question 1!