This time, gays are not the target

Portland Press Herald
July 15, 2009

In contrast to Stand for Marriage Maine's secrecy about its office location and high security in its work to exclude gay couples from marriage, Maine Freedom to Marry plans a grand opening of its headquarters in Portland in the next week or two – and the public is invited. Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for Maine Freedom to Marry, said his organization is "totally transparent" and looks forward to operating a "very welcoming and open office." [Link]

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Respect carries rewards not measured in dollars

Business Insurance
July 6, 2009
A recent report by the Williams Institute concludes that the legalization of freedom to marry could hand New England states an economic advantage. The underlying research follows an idea that many employers embraced more than a decade ago: Equality attracts well-educated, creative professionals whose abilities drive company growth. In a world where competition is everything, local economies, like employers, need every advantage they can muster. But equality isn't just a business argument. Treating people with respect, no matter their differences, makes us all better human beings. [Link]

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No Floor Vote for Freedom to Marry in Rhode Island

The Associated Press
June 28, 2009
Rhode Island seems almost certain to remain the only New England state that does not recognize gay marriage after measures legalizing same-sex unions stalled just before the part-time General Assembly ended the bulk of its annual work. This despite a poll released by Brown University last month which showed 60 percent of registered Rhode Island voters would support a law allowing gay couples to marry, and 75 would support a law allowing civil unions. [Link]

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It is time for us to make marriage equality in Rhode Island a reality

Bay Windows
June 17, 2009
Earlier this month, the New Hampshire legislature took another step in our country’s ongoing struggle to ensure full equality for gays and lesbians by voting to permit same-sex couples in their state to legally enter into civil marriages. The vote makes New Hampshire the sixth state in the country - along with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine - to provide equal marriage rights to all its residents, and it now leaves Rhode Island as the only New England state that does not permit the freedom to marry. To me, the issue of marriage equality boils down to a question of basic fairness. [Link]

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Maine Freedom to Marry PAC Formed

June 21, 2009
Supporters of the law that allows same-sex couples in Maine to marry announced today that they have formed a political action committee to protect marriage for all Mainers. The new organization, "Maine Freedom to Marry," will draw on resources that were crucial to the legislative victory this spring, and will also free up the campaign to raise and spend money for the statewide referendum expected this fall. [link]

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Take Action Now for Maine

Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, posted today on Facebook:
"As we work to win marriage in NY, NJ, and DC, I made a personal contribution to Maine Freedom to Marry, knowing that early money is key to defending the victory we won there against the anti-gay forces seeking to take it away in November. Please join me in donating now:

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Campaign to save Maine’s marriage law is launched. Opponents hired Yes on Prop. 8 campaign manager t

June 18, 2009
In Maine, new laws can be challenged via the referendum process. On the plus side, the campaign to save Maine's marriage law has been launched -- and they've got a kick-ass campaign manager leading the effort. This won't be another Prop. 8 from our side. There won't be turf battles and outsize egos. It will be a sophisticated operation combining some of the best political talent with the excellent field operation already established by Equality Maine. The political action committee running the campaign will be called "Maine Freedom to Marry." Meanwhile, the Press Herald confirmed that our opponents in Maine are going to hire the firm of Frank Schubert, who ran the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign in California. Schubert knows where to find money, so Maine Freedom to Marry needs our help and our support. [Link]

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In Rhode Island, some wary as tide of marriage equality rises at border

The Boston Globe
June 15, 2009

Massachusetts and Connecticut legalized the freedom to marry as a result of judicial decisions in 2003 and 2008, while Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire followed this spring by legislative action. The slower pace in Rhode Island, where the state Senate voted last week to allow same-sex partners to make funeral arrangements, has frustrated some local activists, many of whom rallied outside the State House in Providence last weekend to call for immediate equality. "They still have a chance to be part of the vanguard," said attorney Karen L. Loewy, the Rhode Island point person for GLAD, which won the lawsuits in Massachusetts and Connecticut that legalized marriage equality in those states. "Rhode Island is well on its way." [Link]

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Out of the closet

The Pheonix
June 3, 2009

Al Diamon writes about how effective Equality Maine's strategy has been and continues to be in winning and protecting marriage equality in Maine: "The marriage-equality bill sailed through the legislative process not because it wasn't controversial, but because Equality Maine had carefully laid the groundwork...Six months ago, I'd have given same-sex marriage about the same chance of winning a popular vote in Maine as I'd give Republicans of gaining control of the Legislature: zero. Now, I think the odds are close to even. And the momentum is all going one way." (Link)

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New England economy could see marriage equality boost

June 4, 2009
The expansion of marriage equality across New England could deliver an economic windfall by attracting a youthful "creative class" of workers to a region with an aging population. The freedom to marry could also serve as a recruiting tool for universities, health care companies and financial services firms that dominate the region's economy, experts said.[Link]

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