Stacey Fitts
Maine Republican Says He Was 'Chicken' for Not Fighting for Marriage Equality

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com November 01 2012 1:00 PM ET

A Republican lawmaker in Maine who voted against marriage equality while in office in 2009 now describes that decision as a "chicken thing for me to do."

Stacey Fitts is appearing in ads throughout the state calling on others to take a more courageous stand than he did when lawmakers voted on marriage equality in 2009, and then when the state's voters vetoed the law. He sat on the sidelines during the debate despite leaning pro-equality.

"As I watched that evolve, it became clear that I wasn't in support of the veto effort," he told the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. "And that I wouldn't necessarily take a role — which, looking back, probably was another chicken thing for me to do."

Fitts said he was secretly pleased marriage equality had passed through the legislature, and he told MPBN he'd voted against it only because he was following the party line.

"As a Republican, I think any time you take a position that get outside the boundaries of your caucus, you can become alienated and less effective," Fitts told MPBN. "And my role in serving my constituents is to remain as effective as I can."

In a television ad from Mainers United for Marriage released earlier this month, Fitts is making it clear he's changed his mind and that he hopes other voters have too. "I voted against same-sex marriage in 2009, but I know some gay people and I've talked with them and with my family," he said in the ad, continuing, "I don't believe the government should tell anybody who they can love or who they can marry."

Watch the TV ad below.