All Eyes on Maine

As LGBT activists discuss how and when to restore the freedom to marry in California, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Lorri Jean says all eyes need to be on marriage in Maine.

BY Lorri L. Jean

August 05 2009 12:00 AM ET

LORRI JEAN WIFE GINA CALVELLIX390 (COURTESY) | ADVOCATE.COM

It would be hard to overstate the importance of a victory in Maine. Such a victory would be the first clear-cut, outright ballot box rejection of the kind of deceitful, fearmongering, antigay rhetoric they are sure to employ. Turning the tide there would change the landscape for all the fights to come. Yet this uphill battle will be hard to win without support and involvement from our community and our allies across the nation.

So what can those of us in California and elsewhere do to help achieve that victory?

Decisions about whether and where to give money cannot be taken lightly in these tough economic times, but the stakes are high in Maine, and even a small contribution can go a long way in a state with only 1.4 million residents.

The antigay opposition is currently outraising us by almost 3 to 1. We must help our side catch up to assure that its messages reach every voter. So please consider sending whatever you can by donating here .

If you have the time and means to volunteer, the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign will coordinate housing, provide training, and plug you into campaign teams.

Finally, and easiest, help spread the word. Not a lot of attention has been paid to the battle in Maine and the stakes there. We've got to help the campaign build a strong, national base of support.

Our overdue marriage rights have yet to be successfully defended at the ballot box anywhere in the country. We came closer to winning in California than anyone ever has, and we'll fight again, but Maine is now ground zero in our great struggle for the American principles of liberty and justice for all. Time and the tides of history are unquestionably on our side, but we should do as much as we can to hurry history along.

Maine!

Tags: Politics

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