Live Blog: Election 2012
Freedom to Marry is live-blogging Election Day and linking out to developments from all four of the state campaigns. If you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #Marriage2012 to keep up with all of the news, and check this page frequently to make sure you're digesting all of the news about the campaigns. Remember: Mainers are working to proactively pass the freedom to marry by voting YES on Question 1, Marylanders and Washingtonians are being asked to vote FOR Question 6 and APPROVE Ref. 74 to uphold the freedom to marry, and Minnesotans are being asked to vote NO on an amendment that would constitutionally exclude same-sex couples from marriage. Read more background on the state campaigns HERE.
4:18 p.m. Thank you for following along with Freedom to Marry's Election Day Live Blog! We can't thank you enough for lending your passion to these four critical ballot measures. And we can't be more thrilled that we went FOUR for FOUR. That's momentous. And it wouldn't have been possible without the amazing state campaign teams at Mainers United for Marriage, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, Minnesotans United for All Families, and Washington United for Marriage. We also need to thank the millions of people who voted FOR fairness for all families last night, our supporters who have been so actively engaged in the campaign this election season, and all people working nationwide toward ending the exclusion of loving and committed same-sex couples from marriage. Now, we move onward, to 2013 and beyond. We'll be sticking to our Roadmap to Victory - winning more states, growing the majority for marriage in new and innovative ways, and ending federal marriage discrimination. We need you to stick with us. Together, we can continue moving toward a future where all couples can share in the freedom to marry.
4:05 p.m. Freedom to Marry is so proud to see the freedom to marry make a clean sweep at the ballot last night. In the 2011-2012 election cycle, we have been proud and honored to invest $7 million in the ballot states. We were the largest out-of-state funder of marriage work in three of the four battleground states. We are the largest funder of work to advance the freedom to marry in the nation, and we have provided state campaigns with critical support, including political and messaging guidance, new media coordination, and strategic leadership. In the 2011-2012 election cycle, Freedom to Marry raised and invested a total of $7 million in the four ballot states, including infusions of $4.6 million in cash to the campaigns, in-kind contributions of staff and expertise, and an additionally secured $2.4 million in funding for separate public education efforts. With this money, we helped show voters why marriage matters to same-sex couples, why civil union or institutions less than marriage are not enough, and how extending the freedom to marry to all loving and committed couples can strengthen communities. Check out this graphic for the tangible ways that our contribution has bolstered the campaign to win marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington and defeat the anti-gay amendment in Minnesota. Read more.
3:05 p.m. Washington has declared a winner: The freedom to marry triumphs in Washington state! That means we've gone four for four! Our Director of Organizing Thomas Wheatley commented on the win, saying, "This victory is a joyous step forward for millions of gay and lesbian people in Washington and around the country who have dreamt of someday being able to marry the person they love. Washingtonians know that marriage means something important and special to all couples, their families, and their friends - including gay couples and their loved ones. Washington's campaign mobilized unprecedented support from businesses, faith leaders, and young voters, demonstrating that the freedom to marry matters to all people and setting a powerful example as we continue to work to win marriage nationwide." Read about the amazing win here. And help us celebrate on Facebook by sharing this graphic!
2:33 p.m. In an excellent piece at Slate, Nathanial Frank tracks how the freedom to marry won at the polls. The article credits Freedom to Marry's focused work, including our "Roadmap to Victory" and our founder and president, Evan Wolfson (left). Frank explains: "How same-sex marriage ballot initiatives turned around is all about the long game. The gay rights movement succeeded using one of the most sophisticated issue campaign operations ever deployed—and by making it stick with old-fashioned commitment, hard work, and face-to-face conversations." Read the article.
2:06 p.m. Ebony magazine celebrates our huge win in Maryland by talking about how black voters were essential for passing the freedom to marry in the state. Ebony spoke with Lakisha Smith, one of the couples we've profiled on the blog this month. Lakisha said, "I’m so happy right now. For us to be able to marry is a testament to Maryland’s values. We’ve already started planning our wedding and are financial planning. It’s almost like Question 6’s passage was our engagement." Read the article.
1:27 p.m. This morning, Minnesotans United for All Families campaign manager Richard Carlbom sent a message to VOTE NO volunteers and supporters. He said: "The strength of this campaign - the true measure of our success - was our thousands of dedicated volunteers and our broad and diverse coalition. We did something truly unmatched, and we only did it because of you. Because of you, we changed the course of politics for ever. Because of you, we sparked an honest, positive statewide conversation about why marriage matters - to everyone. And because of you, Minnesotans voted in favor of love, freedom, and fairness - because that's what our state is all about, and those are the values we hold dear. I'm so unbelievably proud to call myself a Minnesotan today, and I hope you are, too." Read more about the historic win.
12:44 p.m. This morning, Mark Takano's race was called in California, and he's won! Takano is now the first openly LGBT person of color elected to Congress. He will serve in the 41st Congressional District of California. "Times certainly have changed," he said about his win. “And in my current race not a single voter has asked me about being gay.” Read more.
12:05 p.m. One great win that we didn't mention last night: In Iowa, voters retained Justice David Wiggins, one of the justices who voted for the freedom to marry in 2009. One Iowa, the group that worked to retain Wiggins, issued a statement last night, saying: "Tonight, Justice Wiggins withstood the attacks by anti-equality forces in this state and was retained by the voters,” said executive director Donna Red Wing. “With the retention of Justice Wiggins, we sent a strong message to Mr. Vander Plaats and his friends at the National Organization for Marriage: Iowans are proud of our state that values equal protection and all families." Read more.
11/7, 11:04 a.m. We're still holding off on calling the race in Washington, but in the meantime, meet 13 ecstatic couples from Maine and Maryland who just won the freedom to marry. Along with the rest of us who support the freedom to marry, it's safe to say they're having pretty terrific days. Lindsey and Jessica from Silver Spring, MD (right) are getting married in March, and they're thrilled that they can do so legally, in their home state of Maryland, where they've purchased a house and plan to make a life together. Read about Lindsey and Jessica and the other 12 couples HERE.
3:03 a.m. What an AMAZING night! We won the freedom to marry in Maine and Maryland, blocked the anti-gay constitutional amendment in Minnesota, reelected a president who strongly and explicitly supports the freedom to marry, elected dozens of congressmen and senators who support marriage for same-sex couples, and elected our first openly gay U.S. senator - and things are looking optimistic for the freedom to marry in Washington (although the votes won't be done being counted until later this week). THANK YOU for sticking with us as we live blogged all of these amazing, momentous steps forward in the campaign to win marriage nationwide. The momentum is on our side, as we've proven tonight. We can win marriage for all loving and committed couples with your continued attention and help. Thank you for giving so much this year and for lending your passion, your talents, and your time to support fairness for all families. We'll be back on the blog TOMORROW rounding up other updates and getting the word out about all of the amazing steps forward our movement has taken tonight.
2:52 a.m. Incredible news! We've ALSO won at the ballot in Minnesota, defeating the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment that would have permanently limited the freedom to marry in the state. Our Director of Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos commented on the amazing news, saying: "Today Minnesotans affirmed that marriage matters for their gay and lesbian neighbors and friends, as for all of us, and refused to slam the door on marriage in the state constitution. Now loving and committed couples in Minnesota will be able to work to achieve their dream of crossing the threshold, respected equally under the law. Minnesotans United worked doggedly day and night to make the case to voters in heartfelt and personal stories and conversations. They recruited thousands of volunteers for ‘get out the vote’ efforts and powerfully explained why marriage matters over the airwaves, online, and in one-on-one conversations. Non-gay people joined gay people across the states to stand up for freedom and fairness, and move Minnesota closer to the freedom to marry for all." Help us celebrate by sharing this graphic on Facebook and Tumblr! And read about the victory HERE.
1:59 a.m. We may not know the results from the marriage campaign in Washington for several days, but the Washington United for Marriage campaign issued a statement just now saying that we are "cautiously optimistic about victory." Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, said: "We feel very good. ... We’re at 65% in early King County returns and we’re out performing in Eastern Washington. We’ll need patience, but the numbers are coming in the right way. And with Maine and Maryland winning the freedom to marry, we believe we are poised to make history in Washington state. But there are still well over 400,000 ballots to be processed and we have to be patient." WUM estimates that 60 percent of the ballots have been counted, and so far the percentage split is 52% in favor of APPROVING Referendum 74. Read the statement.
1:51 a.m. Same-sex couples will be able to marry in Maine in less than two months. Same-sex couples will be able to marry in Maryland beginning January 1, 2013.
1:49 a.m. Thanks for sticking with us! We should know soon the results of the Minnesota marriage amendment ballot measure!
1:36 a.m. President Obama is giving his victory speech now. He says, "We know in our hearts, the best is yet to come."
1:28 a.m. Just to keep all of our supporters posted - it's too early to call the races in Minnesota and Washington (and because of Washington's all-mail voting system, we may not know the results of Referendum 74 for several days). Hold tight! We may know the results from Minnesota soon!
1:15 a.m. Mainers United for Marriage is celebrating their historic win at the ballot tonight, too. Matt McTighe, the campaign manager for Mainers United, said in an email to supporters tonight: "Thanks to the hard work of so many marriage supporters here and across the country, we’ve made it possible for every loving, committed couple in Maine to obtain a marriage license from the state, to stand up before their friends and family, and to pledge to be there for one another through good times and bad, through sickness and health for the rest of their lives. ... We proved that voters can change their hearts and minds if we tell our stories and give our fellow citizens a personal connection to the countless families whose lives are impacted by this debate. To all the states out there that have seen marriage stripped away or blocked at the ballot box, take hope from the change that’s taken place over the last three years in Maine." Read more about the win in Maine.
12:55 a.m. Romney gives his concession speech, meaning that President Barack Obama has now officially won reelection, making him the most pro-marriage president ever elected. Tonight, the country has elected a man who strongly and explicitly supports the freedom to marry and rejected a candidate who is fiercely opposed to moving marriage forward.
12:45 a.m. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history, has issued remarks about her win. They are truly inspiring. She said: "I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference – a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security, a difference in the lives veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families when they return home from war, a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security. But in choosing me to tackle those challenges, the people of Wisconsin have made history. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the trust you have placed in me. All I can do is work as hard as I can to keep that trust. ... Here’s the promise I want to make to you: I will be a Senator for all of Wisconsin." Read her remarks.
12:30 a.m. Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign manager Josh Levin has addressed Vote For 6 supporters about the victory! He said: "This is a monumental victory. Tonight Marylanders across the state stood up and affirmed our longstanding tradition of supporting fairness and equality. As the crowd cheers at the Baltimore Soundstage, ripples are being felt across the country as we stand up proudly as the first state in the nation to approve civil marriage for all loving, committed families." Read more about the win.
12:21 a.m. We've made history TWICE tonight! A majority of voters in Maryland voted FOR Question 6, meaning that same-sex couples in Maryland will now have the freedom to marry! Maryland is now the eighth state in the United States to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage! Our Director of Political Operations, Shawn Werner, applauded Marylanders for Marriage Equality and the Vote For 6 campaign tonight. He said: "Maryland’s voters agreed with their lawmakers, governor, and a majority of Americans nationwide: same-sex couples should not be denied the chance to make the ultimate commitment because of whom they love. We look forward to all the marriages we’ll celebrate in 2013, even as we turn our momentum into more victories across the country." SHARE THIS GRAPHIC (left) to help us celebrate this amazing victory in Maryland!
11:55 p.m. VICTORY IN MAINE! In a historic first, we've won the freedom to marry for all loving and committed same-sex couples in Maine! Our National Campaign Manager, Marc Solomon, commented on this HISTORIC win. He said: "Today, a majority in Maine voted in favor of loving and committed same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry. Now the commitment gay and lesbian couples have made in life will be respected equally under the law, celebrated before their loved ones, and called what it is: marriage. It's hard to overstate the national significance of this vote. For years, our opponents have argued that we could not win a majority vote at the ballot. Today, Maine voters proved them wrong, standing up for the Golden Rule and for freedom for all Mainers." To celebrate, SHARE THIS GRAPHIC celebrating Mainers' hard-earned victory in ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage! Read more!
11:44 p.m. Sean Patrick Maloney has won his New York Congress race. The openly gay politician is a former staffer in Bill Clinton's White House and has a partner of 20 years and three children. He is now the second openly gay non-incumbent to win election to Congress tonight, after Mark Pocan, who replaced Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.
11:21 p.m. President Barack Obama has won reelection! He is now the first American to ever win the presidency while running on a platform that fully supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Share this photo on Facebook to help celebrate this historic win. Our founder and president Evan Wolfson commented on President Obama's reelection, and how it represents the nation's shift on marriage for same-sex couples.
Wolfson said: "In reelecting President Obama, the American people chose a candidate who strongly and explicitly supports the freedom to marry - and rejected a challenger who had opposed the freedom to marry and criticized every step the president has taken to end discrimination against loving and committed gay couples and their families. Far from hurting President Obama, his support for the freedom to marry undoubtedly galvanized his base and independents, delivering the turn-out that carried him to victory. The president's reelection further reflects and accelerates the momentum for marriage, which Freedom to Marry will transform into more victories in 2013. As we grow support in Congress and create a climate of encouragement around the Supreme Court, we look forward to working with President Obama and other supporters across the political spectrum to advance our Roadmap to Victory national strategy for winning marriage nationwide: joining together to enlarge and diversify the majority for marriage, win the freedom to marry in more states, and overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act that discriminates against legally married couples." READ MORE.
10:50 p.m. Couples like Lakisha and ShaDonna are hoping for a big win tonight for Question 6 in Maryland, which would uphold the freedom to marry that was approved by the state legislature and Gov. Martin O'Malley in March 2012. Lakisha and ShaDonna are one of thousands of couples who will be impacted by these marriage votes tonight. Read stories from 13 other couples in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
10:35 p.m. Mainers United for Marriage has more updates. Bangor, with 90% of polling sites reporting: 58% Yes, a 3.85% gain from '09. Sagadahoc County, unofficial results: 61% Yes. Camden, nearly all precincts reporting: 66% Yes. Manchester, unofficial results: 52% yes, an increase of 6% from '09, when the county voted AGAINST the freedom to marry. Keep posted with Mainers United. Three Freedom to Marry team members - Online Campaign Manager Cameron Tolle, Director of Political Operations Shawn Werner, and National Campaign Manager Marc Solomon (left) - are in the Mainers United war room in Portland to get the latest numbers and cheer on the Yes on 1 campaign!
10:30 p.m. Polls in Washington state close in 30 minutes. Make sure to get your ballot to a ballot box before 8:00 p.m. local time. Need help finding your ballot box? Washington United for Marriage can help HERE.
10:13 p.m. Wisconsin official Tammy Baldwin has become the first openly gay person elected to the United States Senate. Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, applauded Baldwin's win, saying, "This is a historic victory not only for the people of Wisconsin, but for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans across the country who have finally gained an authentic and powerful voice in Congress' upper chamber." This morning, Senator-elect Baldwin said, "The people who had faith that this was possible made it possible." Read more.
10:08 p.m. Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, has won a second term representing RI in the U.S. House of Representatives. Cicilline is one of four openly gay or lesbian people currently serving in the House, according to the Victory Fund. Read more.
9:57 p.m. Mainers United for Marriage is reporting amazing results for the Yes on 1 campaign: Official results from Farmington, ME show that 59 percent have voted Yes on 1, and only 41 percent have voted NO, which is 4 points higher than 2009. Unofficial results in Gorham, with 99 percent reporting, show 60 percent voting Yes and 40 percent voting No. Unofficial results in Brunswick show 71.8 percent voting Yes, up 7 points from 2009. Unofficial results in Bangor show 58 percent voting Yes, up 4 points from 2009. Mainers United is continuing to tweet out results as they come in. Follow them on Twitter.
9:53 p.m.Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has won his re-election race. Markell is a strong supporter of the freedom to marry. In August, he spoke out about working toward marriage for same-sex couples in Delaware, explaining that he is willing to play a leading role in ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in the state. Read more about Gov. Markell's work on marriage, and read about his re-election.
9:49 p.m. The Maryland Board of Elections has made it easy to keep up with the results in Maryland. It's still a very close race, but it's looking good for supporters of the freedom to marry. Marylanders for Marriage Equality tweeted, "We're encouraged by our early vote numbers, but making no assumptions. We are holding tight. For Fairness, For Equality, For 6." Read more.
9:45 p.m. Elizabeth Warren has won her Senate race in Massachusetts! She is a strong supporter of the freedom to marry. Read more.
9:21 p.m. Mainers United is rallying now at their Election Night party. Dozens of Mainers United supporters have taken the stage tonight, including the director of the coalition, many faith leaders from across Maine, a representative from ACLU Maine, Mary Bonauto from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Rea Carey from The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Executive Committee from the Yes on 1 campaign (pictured). Follow Mainers United's party on Twitter.
9:13 p.m. New Hampshire has elected a Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan (right), who is a strong supporter of the freedom to marry. Her election, and the election of other officials who support the freedom to marry, mean that it will be easier to uphold marriage in New Hampshire if our opponents seek to overturn the state's commitment to fairness for all families. Read more. Several other races have also been called, and a slew of pro-equality candidates have been re-elected. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Respect for Marriage Act co-sponsor, has been re-elected. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, another co-sponsor of the bill, has also been re-elected. So has Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, both Respect for Marriage Act co-sponsors.
9:01 p.m. Numbers for Question 6 in Maryland is looking good. Jeremy Hooper of Good As You is reporting that the early voting numbers favor the freedom to marry, with 222,748 votes FOR Question 6 and 193,534 votes against. Read more.
8:33 p.m. Democrat Chris Murphy is projected to win his race against Republican Linda McMahon. Murphy is a strong supporter of the freedom to marry. Read more.
8:24 p.m. The Maine Senate race has been called, and Angus King, an Independent who supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, will replace Olympia Snowe. The Senator-elect has promised to support all families, and we're thrilled that he'll be joining the Senate as a supporter of the freedom to marry in Maine. Read more.
8:21 p.m. Several important races have very positive projections for the freedom to marry nationwide: Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon White are all projected to win their re-election races. All three are co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal respect for lawful marriages between same-sex couples. Read more.
8:16 p.m. Our Federal Director Jo Deutsch is speaking now with reporters on Prince George's County TV, a local news program in Prince George's County, Maryland. She's talking about why marriage matters to same-sex couples, discussing the ins and outs of the Vote For 6 campaign, and explaining how important it would be for her to finally be able to tie the knot with her partner of 29 years, Teresa. The polls have closed in Maryland, but the Vote For 6 team has put in months of hard work. Let's hope that Jo and Teresa are finally able to marry!
8:00 p.m. Polls have closed in Maine and Maryland. Send your best happy thoughts to Mainers United for Marriage and the Yes on 1 campaign, and Marylanders for Marriage Equality and the Vote For 6 campaign!
7:14 p.m. Polls close in less than an hour - but you can still vote in Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and drop off your ballot in Washington! Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, just sent out an email to supporters of the Vote For 6 campaign explaining, "Turnout has been sky-high today, and this election is extremely close."
7:06 p.m. Today, Nick and Andy, who got a domestic partnership in Miami, FL and have been together for 14 years, voted NO on the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota, the state where they grew up, went to college together, fell in love, and now live together. Andy spoke with Freedom to Marry last week about the amendment, explaining, "Society has come so far in terms of how they viewed gay people in the 80s, 90s, and even early 2000s. Things have changed so much. To stop that forward progress with the passage of this amendment would make no sense. It would make everything go backward." Read their story, and the stories of 10 other committed same-sex couples in the ballot states, HERE.
6:45 p.m. Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson just appeared on a segment with Huffington Post Live, sharing his views on Election Day, talking about why marriage matters, and discussing why civil union is simply not enough for loving and committed same-sex couples. To watch Evan's segment on the live broadcast, rewind back to the 38-minute mark!
5:20 p.m. Today, Marylanders for Marriage Equality asked voters why they were voting FOR Question 6 today! The answers are heart-warming. One couple (left) says, "I support marriage equality because we have waited for 40 years." Another says, "Love has no limits and everybody deserves to be happy." One woman holds up a sign explaining, "Both of my children deserve the same rights!," and a young girl says, "I have two mommies." Our personal favorite is one woman's snarky response, "Because we aren't playing house." Check out all of the wonderful responses at this photo round-up from Buzzfeed.
5:09 p.m. Our Development Director Jeffrey Correa hails from Washington state! He's been working this summer to spread the word to his family members and friends in Washington asking them to APPROVE Referendum 74 to uphold the freedom to marry. Jeffrey recently celebrated his fourth wedding anniversary: He married on November 2, 2008 in California, just two days before Proposition 8 passed at the ballot and took away same-sex couples' freedom to marry. Jeffrey and his husband J-P now live in New York City and are excited to see Washington win tonight and, soon, see Proposition 8 overturned once and for all in California!
4:58 p.m. In St. Paul, in the headquarters office for Minnesotans United for All Families, volunteers and workers are taking a "dance break" from phoning to get people out to the polls! Every few hours, the Minnesota team takes a break and gets up from their desks by playing an awesome pump-up song, getting off the phones and dancing for a few minutes! Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has lent his voice to the movement to defeat this anti-gay constitutional amendment also dropped by the office after campaigning for the Vote No team all day. Check out these photos - and all of our photos from Freedom to Marry staffers on-the-ground HERE.
4:27 p.m. So many people have endorsed the freedom to marry at the ballot in each of these states. President Barack Obama has officially endorsed the freedom to marry in all four ballot battles, and the other campaigns have received thumbs-ups from a number of other institutions, organizations, newspaper editorial boards, and public figures. Washington United has seen tons of support from businesses, including Expedia, Nordstrom, and T-Mobile. The campaign has also received record donations from Amazon's Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos and Microsoft's Bill and Melinda Gates. Mainers United for Marriage has seen support from city councils and local newspapers. Minnesota's Vote No campaign has been endorsed by General Mills, former governor Jesse Ventura, and a group of veterans working to defeat the amendment. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has seen great support from Gov. Martin O'Malley, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Baltimore Ravens football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, and the NAACP. Learn more about each campaign HERE.
3:56 p.m.For the past three months, we've talked to over a dozen same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington to hear their stories about why marriage matters. Make sure you don't miss any of them! Have you read about Casey and Eric (right), who married in Iowa after being together for seven years and now fear that their home state of Minnesota will disrespect their relationship by passing this anti-gay amendment? Or Lindsey and Jessica, who plan to marry in Maryland, where they recently purchased a home together, and don't want to have to drive to Washington, D.C. just to file paperwork demonstrating their love? Or Beth and Valerie, who want more than anything to marry in Maine, the place where they have made their home with their two children? These stories show that there are REAL people affected by these campaigns. Your support at the polls will impact their lives. See our couple stories HERE.
3:30 p.m. This morning, our Director of Organizing Thomas Wheatley was up at 4:00 a.m. in Washington to help train and lead a team of volunteers to mobilize the Get Out the Vote effort in the state! Volunteers were packed in the Capitol Hill Action Center for the first canvass shift of the day, and we were proud to be on hand to help out. Check out more photos from Washington United for Marriage HERE. The Washington campaign has had huge success these past few weeks with their Facebook FriendVote tool, which is publicily available and helps Washingtonians remind their friends and family members to vote to Approve Referendum 74. Learn more about how Washington United used FriendVote HERE.
2:50 p.m. Mainers United workers and volunteers have been on the phone all day urging Mainers to get out of their homes and vote YES on Question 1! Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Manager Marc Solomon and Online Campaign Manager Cameron Tolle are joining them! The Maine campaign has a lot to be proud of: They've built one of the largest grassroots campaigns in Maine history, knocking on 290,000 doors, making 1.11 million calls, and having 225,000 conversations with Mainers about why marriage matters. Follow Mainers United today on Twitter.
2:14 p.m. Did you see all of the final television advertisements from each of the state campaigns? Here's a handy round-up of all four states' final videos, which make the case one last time for why same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry.
1:45 p.m. Tons of celebrities and public figures have taken to Twitter to remind their followers to vote for the freedom to marry at the ballot today! Check out encouraging tweets from Glee actress Jane Lynch, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his fiancé Justin Mikita, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Macklemore.
1:29 p.m. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is helping Minnesotans United for All Families get out the vote at the University of Minnesota today! Kluwe, a straight ally and professional football player, has been an outspoken voice against the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment in Minnesota this year. He's recorded radio ads, written newspaper editorials, and appeared in videos to explain why Minnesotans need to vote NO on writing discrimination into the state constitution. Check out this photo, and follow Minnesotans United!
1:00 p.m. Polls in Maine and Maryland close in 7 hours, and polls in Minnesota close in 8 hours! Washingtonians must vote by mail, and ballots need to be post-marked by today, November 6, or dropped off at a ballot drop before 8 p.m. local time. Make sure that your friends and family members in each of these key states get out to vote today! We're asking our Twitter followers to send us photos of their "I Voted" stickers! Check out this one (right), and make sure to follow us on Twitter!
12:12 p.m. ICYMI: Our opponents have been resorting to the same lies and distortions of reality again and again when campaigning against the freedom to marry for loving and committed couples. Our Director Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos broke down all of their supposed "arguments" all last month in a series for The Huffington Post called "Here Come the Lies." Check out all of the lies and read Thalia's explanations for how they're simply false HERE.
11:52 a.m. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who signed the freedom to marry into law after the state legislature approved it with bipartisan support in March, has been a huge advocate of marriage for same-sex couples in the state. Today, he's been working with Marylanders for Marriage Equality to ensure that supporters of fairness and equality get out and vote! Here's a picture of Gov. O'Malley with supporters of the Vote For 6 team! Check out all of the updates from Marylanders for Marriage Equality HERE.
11:42 a.m. Our Federal Director Jo Deutsch just voted with her partner of 29 years, Teresa. The couple lives in Cheverly, Maryland and have played an active role in the Vote For 6 campaign, and in the campaign to win marriage nationwide. Jo just sent us this reflection on what it felt like to vote for fairness for all families in Maryland, alongside her own family. She said: "Voting FOR Question 6 was remarkable. How astonishing a vote for me and Teresa - an affirmation of our 29 years together and the wonderful family we have with Jake, Matthew and Bena. I voted with Teresa in the booth next to me; Jake in the booth behind me; and Bena who came into the booth with me. Matthew, who voted for the first time this election by absentee ballot in Boston, was certainly there in spirit. All our fingers and toes are now crossed for a victory in Maryland so we can finally get married - as well as for victories in ME, MN and WA." In case you missed it last week, here's also a photo from last week of Lakisha and ShaDonna, who have been together for over four years, voting early FOR Question 6 in Maryland.
10:10 a.m. The gubernatorial election in New Hampshire is also one to watch tonight, as the future of the freedom to marry in the state could be impacted. Read more at The Washington Blade.
9:43 a.m. Our Federal Director Jo Deutsch is on the ground in Maryland working the polling site in Cheverly. She said, "The line this morning to vote at my polling site was amazing. It started forming at 6 a.m. for a 7 a.m. open." Here are two photos of Jo working the polling place in Cheverly!
9:06 a.m. Remember who you're voting for when you step into your polling place today in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. You're voting for loving and committed same-sex couples like Maryland's Jo and Teresa, who have been together 29 years; Minnesota's Nick and Andy, who have been together for 14 years; Washington's Colleen and Lee Ann, who have been together for 8 years; and Maine's Sarah and Linda, who have been together for 18 years. Read about all four of these amazing couples - and 11 others from the ballot states - who are pulling for marriage wins at the ballot today.
8:14 a.m. Our Director of Political Operations, Shawn Werner, is knocking on doors in Portland, ME reminding people to get out and vote! Make sure to tell all of your friends and family members in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington to vote today so that we can make history! Remember: polls in ME, MD and MN close at 8 p.m. local time, and WA is a mail-in only state. Ballots from WA must be post-marked by Nov. 6, so get those ballots in the mail!
11/5: The Freedom to Marry team is dispatched throughout the United States this weekend - in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington - to be on the ground for the last few hours of the marriage ballot campaigns. Check out photos HERE (including this photo of our Director of Organizing Thomas Wheatley with Washington United campaign manager Zach Silk in Washington) and read about our on-the-ground work HERE.
11/4: This weekend, our Federal Director Jo Deutsch and our Director of Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos visited Minnesota to help out in the last few days of the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign. They were accompanied by two members of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee, Madeline Koch and Margaret Hoover. Madeline and Margaret - two straight Republicans - spent the weekend speaking out against the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota and making phone calls to Minnesotans about why they should vote NO. Read more about the weekend in Minnesota HERE.
11/3: Marriage Equality USA has made it possible for you to PHONE BANK FROM HOME to contact voters in all four states and remind them to vote before polls close on Tuesday! Sign up for remote phone banking HERE.
11/2: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington are gearing up for this weekend's huge GET OUT THE VOTE effort. You can learn more about all of the ways you can help get voters in these key states out to the polls HERE.
11/1: Mainers United for Marriage held their final rally for the Yes on 1 campaign, bringing together over 300 supporters in Portland. Read an on-the-ground update from our Online Campaign Manager, Cameron Tolle.