For Immediate Release
Narrow Defeat in Maine Won’t Stop Fight for the Freedom to Marry
Work Continues in Maine as Other States Advance, Voters Likely Protecting Domestic Partnerships in Washington
WASHINGTON - Despite a strong grassroots
effort in Maine, an attack
campaign by anti-gay forces just barely overturned Maine’s law supporting the freedom to
marry for gay couples. Results are still coming in for Washington state where voters are likely to
affirm domestic partnerships. As Washington
state continues its conversation about the inequalities gay couples and their
families face, the fight will continue for the freedom to marry in Maine, and across the
country, as wins in three other states just this year along with growing
national support for the freedom to marry clearly show momentum is on the side
of fairness and equality.
recipe for ending injustice is: Give people the information they need over
time, and stir their hearts. We will work harder, and learn better to
dispel the distractions and fears that are keeping a smaller and smaller slice
of Americans from treating others fairly,” said Evan Wolfson, executive
director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why
Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry.
“Each conversation, each day, each story, each win will bring America
closer to equality in marriage.”
from all walks of life -- faith leaders, labor unions, teachers, civil rights
leaders and communities of color, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents,
public officials, local school boards and city councils, moms and dads, and
businesses -- joined together with national, state and local LGBT organizations
and individuals from around the country to work for the defeat of these
addition to the thousands of volunteers and hundreds of organizations that
joined the fight for the freedom to marry, political leaders from Maine to Washington and
across the United States
such as President Barack Obama, Maine Governor John Baldacci, and Washington
Governor Chris Gregoire, spoke out against these discriminatory measures.
“My heart goes out today to the couples in Maine, who will have to wait a little longer
to marry those they love and receive the protections their commitment
deserves,” said Wolfson. “The campaigns in both Maine and Washington
worked hard and families across each state stood up and told their stories in
order to change hearts and minds.”
to Marry honors the leadership of the No on 1/Protect Maine
Equality and Washington Families Standing Together campaigns, along with
supporting organizations Equality Maine, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and
Defenders, the Maine
chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Equal Rights Washington.
work continues in Maine and Washington,
focus shifts to New York, New
Jersey, and the District
of Columbia where bills are currently being
considered to end the exclusion of gay couples from marriage.
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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.