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USA, Maine: “Poppy” Bush Witnesses Same-Sex Wedding

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Photo Courtesy of Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement

Photo Courtesy of Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement

The first President Bush witnessed a same-sex wedding in Maine this last weekend.

Pink News reports:

Former President George H Bush and his wife, Barbara, have served as two of the official witnesses at a same-sex marriage ceremony of two long standing friends. The weekend wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen took place in Maine. Ms Clement told the Washington Post: “This is such a wonderful time for change in our legal system. Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world. When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being ‘real and normal’.”

So now we’ve got the really old Republicans and the really young ones on our side – how do we get everyone in the middle?

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USA, Maine: Marriage Equality Had No Impact On Voters’ Lives – New Poll

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

titleA new poll shows increased support for marriage equality in Maine 10 months after voters approved it.

State reports:

A new poll indicates that Mainers’ acceptance of same-sex marriage has increased significantly since the November vote, but an opponent cautions against making too much of numbers from Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling. In November, with just 47 percent of voters opposing the referendum to legalize gay marriage, the law was passed at the polls. The Public Policy Polling poll — released in late August — shows that opposition to gay marriage has declined to 38 percent since then.

From the survey:

80% of respondents said the legalization of same-sex marriage has had a positive or no impact on their lives so far. 32% of people who described their race as “other” and 29% of 18-29-year-olds said same-sex marriage has negatively impacted them.

Just as we’ve always said.

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USA, Maine: Equality Maine to Work to Raise Rural Marriage Equality Support

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Equality MaineNow that the battle for marriage equality n Maine has been won, the state’s advocacy group is shifting focus. The Kennebec Journal reports:

The Portland-based advocacy group, EqualityMaine, released a five-year strategic plan recently to outline its overarching goals through 2018, focused on building and educating communities about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and issues statewide. It’s the group’s first major step forward since November, when nearly 53 percent of Maine voters backed same-sex marriage.

If successful, the move will solidify support for the new law, making it less likely to be repealed at a future date.

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Maine, USA: State Supreme Court Rules NOM Can’t Hide Their Donors

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Maine MapThe Maine Supreme Court finally weighed in on the National Organization for Marriage’s attempts to hide their donors in the state. The Sun Journal reports:

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld a lower court’s ruling that the National Organization for Marriage and its allies cannot shield the names of donors to a 2009 campaign against same-sex marriage from the state’s election oversight commission. In affirming an earlier Kennebec County Superior Court’s decision, justices on the Supreme Judicial Court rejected NOM’s arguments that subpoenas issued by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices violate donors’ First Amendment rights and expose them to “threats, harassment and reprisal.”

Anyone wanna take odds on whether NOM will continue to defy the courts in Maine on this issue?

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Maine, USA: NOM Still Fighting Disclosure Ruling

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

NOM LogoNOM continues to refuse to turn over details of its donors in the fight against marriage equality in Maine. The Press Herald reports:

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments this week on a national anti-gay-marriage group’s efforts to keep its donor list confidential. The National Organization for Marriage is appealing a Superior Court judge’s decision refusing to vacate subpoenas issued by the Maine Ethics Commission demanding the names of NOM’s donors in a 2009 gay marriage referendum.

Any bets on whether they’ll actually turn over the information if the SJC rules against them?

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Maine, USA: Does Senator Susan Collins Support Marriage Equality?

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Maine Senator Susan CollinsNow that former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe has revealed that she supports marriage equality, eyes have trned to Maine’s other moderate GOP Senator, Susan Collins. The Advocate reports:

Consider the curious case of Susan Collins, the moderate from Maine. Voters in her state in 2012 overturned a ban on same-sex marriage by 53% to 47%, and gays and lesbians now can marry there. And Collins has a long record of supporting LGBT causes in the Senate, starting with voting against amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Still, she vaguely told the Associated Press as recently as Wednesday when asked if she supports marriage equality that, “My philosophy has been to stay out of state issues.”

It’s historically been very rare for a sitting republican politician to endorse marriage equality – very few of the republicans who signed the GOP brief against Prop 8 and DOMA were still in office at the time. But Senator Portman’s endorsement may have changed that – time will tell.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Maine.

Maine, USA: Lesbian Couple Wins $100,000 Dream Wedding

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Lesbian Couple Wins Maine Wedding SweepstakesA lesbian couple in Maine just won the wedding of their dreams from a Maine Magazine. LGBTQ Nation reports:

A Maine magazine has awarded a dream wedding valued up to $100,000 to a same-sex couple in its annual wedding contest. Real Maine Weddings says Jenna Eagleton and Caroline Currie of Portland were chosen from among three finalist couples. The announcement was made Sunday at the Maine Wedding Association Bridal Show in Freeport.

To win, they had to submit a video telling the magazine why they deserved to win. They’re such a cute couple – we wish you two many happy years together.

Maine, USA: 150 Same Sex Couples Married So Far

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Same Sex Couples Finally Marrying in MaineMaine same sex couples are taking advantage of the new marriage equality law, but the population’s simply much smaller than neighboring Massachusetts, reports:

About 2,360 same-sex couples were married in Massachusetts the first month alone after its gay-marriage law went into effect in 2004, according to the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders organization. In contrast, about 150 gay couples have exchanged vows in Maine since same-sex marriage became legal Dec. 29. While the new law has given hotels, photographers, florists and others a boost, many say they’re not anticipating a bonanza from same-same couples right off the bat, but still expect the gay marriage business to grow in the years ahead.

The article also points out that Maine is surrounded by other choices for same sex couples:

“Maine is in a much different position than Massachusetts in 2004,” Swislow said. ”If you wanted to get married then, this was it.”Now, in addition to Massachusetts, gay marriage is legal in neighboring New Hampshire, six other states and the District of Columbia.

Still, Maine would be a beautiful place to get married… 🙂

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Maine, USA: 78% Say Marriage Equality Had No Negative Impact

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

titleOn Top Magazine reports that the majority of Mainers have no problem with the marriage equality law:

According to a Public Policy Polling survey of 1,268 Maine voters conducted between January 18 and 20, seventy-eight percent of respondents said allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry has either had no impact or a positive impact on their lives.

The sky didn’t fall after all.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Maine.

Maine, USA: New Poll Shows Support for Marriage Equality Remains Strong

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Maine, USA: New Poll Shows Support for Marriage Equality Remains StrongA new Public Policy Poll of Maine voters shows that marriage equality retains strong support in the state almost three months after its passage, and a month after gay and lesbian couples began marrying in the state:

53% of Maine voters think same-sex marriage should be allowed in the state while 43% think it should not. When asked whether the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine had a positive or negative impact on their life, or it has not had an impact at all, 61% said it has had no impact at all while 17% said it has had a positive impact and 22% said it has had a negative impact.

“78% of Maine voters- including a majority of people who voted against it in November- say that gay marriage being legal in the state is not having an adverse impact on their lives,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “For all the debate over the years it’s turning out not to be a big deal for the vast majority of voters in the state.”

That’s a slight uptick from the final Maine marriage equality poll before the 2012 election, when 52% supported marriage equality in Maine and 45% opposed it.