Maine voters made history tonight by affirming same-sex marriage, according to Mainers United. The state reversed a 2009 ban on marriage equality, by approving Question 1 on Tuesday. This will forever change the discussion on marriage equality and the public's response to it. With 45% of precincts reporting, 54% affirmed Question 1 and 46% rejected it.
First off, here's how Question 1 appeared on the ballot:
Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
Here's what the marriage battle looked like in Maine:
The numbers look good for marriage equality, according to interviews with 400 people conducted by the Pan Atlantic SMS Group of Portland in late September. It found 55% support Question 1, while 39% oppose.
Supporters of Question 1 had been far outraising detractors, but two late-in-the-game contributions hoped to even the game. The Knights of Columbus added $100,000 to the antigay effort, and the National Organization for Marriage suddenly added $800,000 in October. Total funds for Question 1 opponents not reach $1.4 million, compared to $4.3 million for proponents.
None other than President Obama came out in support of Question 1 on Thursday. The Maine League of Young Voters also endorsed Question 1, as well as the city councils of the state's two most prominent cities, Bangor and Portland.
Pro- and antigay ads are currently running on Maine's airwaves. The latest commercials from equality opponents feature Vermont innkeepers describing how awful it was when they were sued for refusing to allow the wedding of a lesbian couple. The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group fighting California's Prop. 8 in federal court, breaks down the fallacies in some of the 'No on Question 1' ads below.