BY Advocate.com Editors
October 29 2009 4:10 PM ET
Despite the dead-heat race in the polls, marriage equality supporters canvassing across the Pine Tree State this weekend are aiming to make history. If the votes go their way on November 3, Maine will be the first state to defeat a state ballot measure attempting to repeal same-sex marriage rights.
“It will happen,” No on 1 volunteer Carla Hopkins told The Advocate. She and her partner of nine years,
Victoria Eleftheriou, took their fight public when they were asked to
help introduce the same-sex marriage bill, LD 1020, to the state
legislature in January — a scary prospect at first, she says, but a step they ultimately took for their son, Eli.
"When Eli grows up, we want him to know that we fought for our family."
Now, nearly a year later, she's still fighting, along with countless other volunteers — and their work seems to have paid off. The No on 1 campaign has raked in more than $4 million and 22,000 donations, according to financial records released last Friday. That's nearly double the $2.5 million raised by marriage equality opponents — $1.5 million of which was donated by the National Organization for Marriage.
“After the loss in California, supporters of marriage equality see Maine as an important step," said Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for the No on 1 team. "People are stepping up and showing their support, both here in Maine and across the country.”
Mark Sullivan, spokesman for Protect Maine Equality, said
the main difference between the marriage campaigns in Maine and California is how grassroots and grounded the pro-equality side is in Maine. But some things are the same — like Frank Schubert, the Sacramento-based political strategist behind the win for California's Proposition 8, which revoked marriage equality. He is working with
Stand for Marriage Maine to stop same-sex marriage in the state.
Sullivan says their efforts are a carbon
copy of what was seen in California — same signs, same commercials, and
the same outside influences.
The No on 1 team is keeping it real, he said.