Given that the elected legislature had passed and the elected Governor had signed the law in Maine recognizing same-sex marriage, I had expected the dynamics of the race to be a little different in the Pine Tree State. But, the result is nearly identical to that in the Golden State just one year ago. With 87% of the vote in, 52.8% of the state’s citizens voted to reject the law.
On the other side of the country, in the Evergreen State, an initiative to approve the state’s domestic partnership law is ahead by about 2 points with half of all precincts reporting. If that margin holds, it would confirm polls showing increasing support for state recognition of same-sex civil unions, but steady opposition to gay marriage. In every state where citizens have been asked about gay marriage, they have voted it down, but by smaller margins than when such referenda first appeared on American ballots.
Methinks that for now, we should focus on getting state recognition of civil unions, but the closeness of the Washington State result is striking. The state, like others on the West Coast is socially liberal, particularly in its western counties. And there are likely many Republicans who voted to approve the Domestic Partnership proposal.
My biggest fear about the Maine vote is that the President will use it as an excuse not to move forward on issues of concern to the gay community, particularly repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.
FROM THE COMMENTS: DaveO gets it:
No on 1 made the same mistake that No on 8 made in California. It WAS a vote on “Equality”, or at least that’s how that side tried to portray it. They just don’t get that fuzzy terms like “Equality” only appeal to liberal Democrats with guilty consciences and pretty much to no one else.
That’s just one reason we needed new gay leadership, not individuals beholden to such socialist-sounding words as “equality.”