We knew it was going to be close. Polls leading up to yesterday’s referendum in Maine were split nearly evenly among those who supported marriage equality and those opposing it. In the end, the “No on 1” folks–those who support marriage only between a man and a woman–won with 53% of the vote.
Jesse Connolly, the manager of the “Yes on 1” campaign in Maine, released a statement that was less conciliatory than itching to continue the fight:
We’re in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year– until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.
For gay marriage advocates, the big picture encompasses several New England states that have sanctioned same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Iowa is also a state that has legalized gay marriage. The grim news is that 31 states have voted against it.
Is the state-by-state approach to gay marriage our most effective strategy? Piece-meal, local political battles have seen many defeats, including prominent states like California and now Maine. It’s apparent that the need for a federal repeal of DOMA–for our national government to provide leadership in this human rights issue–is now more critical than before.