US: Equal marriage advocates rally in Maine ahead of 6 November referendum
Hundreds of people came out to rally in Maine ahead of Tuesday’s referendum on equal marriage, in an attempt to get more people to vote ‘yes’ on Question 1, which would legalise same-sex marriage in the state.
Speakers at the rally of over 300 people in Portland’s Monument Square, included campaign organisers and pastors, and other speakers urging voters to go to the polling stations and vote to uphold equal marriage in the state, reported Chron.com.
Maine’s legislature passed equal marriage laws in 2009 but in a state-wide ballot with echoes of Proposition 8, the majority of voters reversed the legislature’s decision before the laws came into effect.
Matt McTighe, campaign director for Mainers United for Marriage, spoke at the rally, recalling the events of 2009, he said:
“We do not want to wake up the day after the election and think we could have done it if we’d just worked a little harder or had a few more conversations.”
He said that part of the strategy to win would be to convince others to allow “loving, committed” same-sex couples to marry, because that would be the right thing to do.
Mr McTighe also encouraged attendees to vote early by absentee ballots at Portland City Hall, following the rally.
Sarah Dowling, of Freeport, said that people shouldn’t be phased by arguments that supporters want to redefine marriage from equal marriage opponents, and said that she and her partner just wanted to be included in the insitution of marriage.
She went on to say: “We honour marriage by wanting to be married.”
Sarah Holmes, of Portland also attended the rally with her partner, and said she wanted to show her support for the campaign. The couple got engaged on Wednesday evening.
“It’s a fight I continue to fight not just for myself, but for everyone in my community,” she said.
This is not the first rally in Portland in the lead up to the election, back in September, more than 200 people came out to rally, celebrating the kicking off of a public campaign of TV adverts, bumper stickers and yard signs.