Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Backers of Maine marriage referendum claim victory

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, a referendum that seeks to repeal Maine's law that allows gays and lesbians to marry seems poised to pass.

The New York Times has reported 52.8 percent of Maine voters supported the referendum. Slightly more than 47 percent of those who cast ballots voted against it. No on 1 campaign manager Jesse Connolly formally conceded in a brief statement he issued earlier this morning.

"Tonight, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn't enough," he said.

Connolly further praised those who worked against the referendum.

"I am proud of the thousands of Mainers who knocked on doors, made phone calls and talked to their family, friends and neighbors about the basic premise of treating all Maine families equally," he said.

Lee Swislow, executive director of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, released an equally terse statement.

"Today, Maine’s same-sex couples and all their supporters are experiencing a world of hurt and pain," she said. "Same-sex couples have been denied full equality and full citizenship in their state. They have been told to remain outside. They must explain this vote to their children. At some point soon, we will all have to pick ourselves up and fight again."


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