BY Advocate.com Editors

October 29 2009 3:10 PM ET

“Our entire
leadership here is Maine people,” Sullivan said. “These are Maine
people crafting and shaping the campaign. We’ve been very focused ... and
doing whatever we can to reach out to the Maine people."

MaryBeth Luce is
one of those who is reaching out, with the help of her sister Jamee
Luce of Augusta. They were both raised on Shady Maple Deer Farm in
Starks, Maine, and are both unequivocally voting no on Question 1.
MaryBeth is straight and married with two young children. Her sister is
a lesbian and lives with her partner of eight years.

They say
they worry most about the small towns in Maine that often breed
discrimination and fear of the unknown — including in their own
family. Jamee said she was scared to come out to her father, whom she
describes as the quintessence small-town Mainer.

“He follows
the true Mainer way. He lives about 10 miles away from where he grew
up ... and he’s not been exposed to a lot of diversity, He sees no reason
to travel.”

Their mother is a staunch Catholic.

“I
think she’s voting no because I asked her to,” Jamee said. “This
pushes the envelope for most people to the core ... I know it does for
her too.”

Overall, the Luce sisters believe that there has never been a better place to fight for marriage equality.

“The progressive essence of Maine is to live and let live,” MaryBeth said. “That’s what Maine is all about.”

“Politically
we tend to surprise people,” Jamee said. “Maine elected two Republican
women to represent us in the Senate. We’re not a Republican state, but
people just love them. I don’t think you can bottleneck us into any one
category.”

According to a Public Policy Poll taken this month,
74% of Maine's registered Republicans plan to vote yes on 1, repealing
marriage equality, as well as 25% of Democrats. This shows that
that independent voters may become the deciding factor on the issue.

















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