Volunteers say yes to No on 1 ‘vacation’

Portland Press Herald
October 6, 2009

Volunteer vacation week for the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign began Sunday. Volunteers from around the state and the country are being asked to serve as full-time campaign staffers during October.

"We have started getting quite a bit of interest from people living out of state, though the vast majority of our volunteers are from Maine," Monique Hoeflinger, No on 1's deputy campaign manager said. "People are rearranging their lives so that they can volunteer."

One volunteer shares her story of why she's joining the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign:

Pam Perkins, a 50-year-old professional gardener from Hendersonville, N.C., expected to start volunteering after honeymooning in Maine.

She and her partner, Cathy Jackson, were joined in a civil union in Vermont nine years ago and returned to marry Sept. 1, the first day same-sex marriage was allowed in that state.

Perkins had to return home unexpectedly because her mother died. She didn't think she would make it back to Maine, but she was able to come under a program that brings volunteers to the state with donated frequent-flier miles.

"I'm going to be here for the duration – until we win," she said.

Perkins will work with the volunteer recruitment crew, helping to sign up people for the effort and match them with the right tasks.

She hopes she will someday be able to use what she learns in her home state, which she said is behind on the issue.

Perkins said she's astounded by how much of a difference getting married has made.

The couple's grandchildren like to say how the grammies are married, and she has noticed a change in Jackson's co-workers.

"After we got married, they wanted to see the picture, they wanted to see the rings," she said. "It was like, before I was invisible, and then I wasn't."

Help out in Maine here.