Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Maine Votes Against Marriage Equality

Gay Marriage Maine

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.

Filed under: gay rights, government, , , , , , ,

WWII Vet on Marriage Equality: “What do you think I fought for?”

A moving video of Philip Spooner, an 86 year-old WWII veteran, who testified for gay marriage in Maine. “A woman at my polling place asked me, ‘Do you believe in equality for gay and lesbian people?’ I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me.”

Spooner continues, with candor and compassion: “Finally, I asked her, ‘What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?”

As election day nears, polls show that Maine voters are split on marriage equality: 48% in favor; 48% against. Critics worry about a repeat of the Prop 8 fiasco in California. Now, more than ever, we need to voice our support for marriage equality as clearly as Philip Spooner.

Filed under: gay rights, , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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