Mainers Approve Marriage for Same-Sex Couples; First Time Marriage Passed in Ballot Measure
Portland – Maine today became the first state to approve the freedom to marry for same-sex couples through a majority vote on a ballot measure. Maine is expected to begin issuing marriage licenses in mid-December.
“Today, a majority in Maine voted in favor of loving and committed same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry,” said Freedom to Marry National Campaign Director Marc Solomon. “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,” Solomon continued. “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.”
The centerpiece of the three-year campaign was a robust field effort. Volunteers and organizers made more than a million telephone calls, knocked on nearly 300,000 doors, and had 275,000 one-on-one conversations with voters.
“We congratulate Mainers United for Marriage Campaign Director Matt McTighe for the extraordinary effort he has run, as well as all the coalition partners, and particularly Equality Maine and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, for their steadfast commitment to this fight,” said Solomon.
Freedom to Marry was a key part of the Mainers United for Marriage campaign, serving on the campaign Executive Committee and offering up strategic guidance and day-to-day support. In total, Freedom to Marry invested $1.3 million in direct cash and helped raise another $1.35 million to fund public education to build support.
“Freedom to Marry has been one of our most indispensable partners in achieving this historic victory,” said Mainers United for Marriage Campaign Manager Matt McTighe. “Their skilled messaging and cutting edge new media expertise has been crucial. They’ve been our largest funding partner, raising and investing more than $1.3 million in hard cash through their Win More States Fund. I’ve turned to them for regular guidance and strategic support, and they’ve always delivered. As more states look to build on the momentum of tonight's historic victory in Maine, Freedom to Marry will continue to lead the way in our movement to win marriage for all loving, committed couples across the country.”
In 2011-2012, Freedom to Marry invested $4.6 million into the four ballot states – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington – and helped raise another $2.4 million to support public education in the four states, for a total of $7 million this cycle.
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.