Historic victory for same-sex marriage

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Bob Emrich, chairman of Protect Marriage Maine, thanks people for coming to an election night watch party at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston on Tuesday evening.

LEWISTON — Protect Marriage Maine supporters refused to concede at nearly 1 a.m. Wednesday, even as The Associated Press called the race for the other side.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Tim Pettingill, his wife, Sybilla, and son John of Lisbon Falls listen as Protect Marriage Maine Co-chairman Bob Emrich announce results at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston on Tuesday.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Carroll Conley, left, Tim Russell, center, and Bob Emrich, all of Protect Marriage Maine, check results at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston on Tuesday.

"We don't agree with them yet," said the campaign co-chairman, Pastor Bob Emrich of Plymouth.

A hundred precincts still had to report, Emrich said, and those were largely in northern and rural areas that tend to be conservative.

The entire country was watching and waiting to see what would happen in Maine, said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, based in Washington, D.C.

“This is a historic choice,” she said Tuesday night. “States that are watching Maine are those states that have constitutional amendments (banning same-sex marriage) that would be able to get something on the ballot to repeal it.”

Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage, which supports Question 1, declared victory, as did Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Maine and a member of the campaign’s executive committee.

“Maine voters chose freedom over fear,” Bellows said in a statement.

The evening started off festive for Protect Marriage Maine, which opposes same-sex marriage. About two dozen supporters filled the small conference room at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston, eating, drinking and watching Fox News on a small movie screen. At least one person prayed.

The group decided to hold its watch party in Lewiston because the area is largely conservative and was heavily opposed to same-sex marriage in 2009 when voters considered repealing the Legislature's law allowing same-sex marriage. That repeal was successful.

Although the race remained too close to call right from the start, supporters erupted into loud cheers and applause whenever Emrich read the town-by-town results. 

The first quell came as Farmington's results rolled in around 9:45 p.m. The Franklin County town overwhelmingly voted yes for same-sex marriage.

"Hmm," someone said. The rest of the room remained silent.

The group was undaunted but quieter. By 11 p.m., half of the supporters had left for the evening.

The Rev. Doug Taylor, who runs a children's ministry in Lewiston, was one of the few who remained. For him, same-sex marriage is an emotional and spiritual issue.

"The opposition to traditional marriage are slaves to sin," Taylor said. "My sympathy goes out to them and so do my prayers."

As the night wore on, the race got closer, than farther apart, then closer again. At one point, the sides were separated by 2 percent of the vote.

"I really and truly believe we're going to win," said campaign volunteer Tim Russell, who sat at his laptop and hit the refresh button every few seconds, trying to get the latest poll numbers from Maine media outlets.

But spirits began to flag. Talk turned to what supporters would do if they lost. Emrich said he would like to press the Legislature to write more and better protections for religious liberty into the law. 

At midnight, as the Ramada shut down the conference room, the little group scattered.

"I'm disappointed it's taken so long to get the results. I'm still hopeful we're going to win," Emrich said.

The AP called the race about 45 minutes later, but Protect Marriage Maine wasn't ready to call it themselves. Emrich said he would make no decision until more precincts reported.

ltice@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Catherine Pressey's picture

Same sex: the voters decided.

I spoke agaist changing the diff. marriage, on the former news stories. I still am not in support of the same. However at least now they can find out that marriage is not a bed of roses, and can be a bed of thorns. That marriage license will not prove a thing and can not garantee happiness, someone just told me that they may as well find out how miserable they can be when they now will once licensed and married, it comes with it own issues. DIVORCE, DIVISION OF PROPERTY ETC. None the less thankfully it a done deal, sure most will be glad not to have to deal with this reality of the sin or not sin. Issue. I for one am done with it, and will watch as the Divorce logs and the courts then have to handle the same. Good luck to those that figure they gained something special. As they say no gain no pain. DONE WITH THIS HOPE NOT TO DEAL WITH ANY POST RELATED ISSUES.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Prepare yourself for the next

Prepare yourself for the next gay/lesbian referendum. The wants will soon be forthcoming; marriage is only the second step. It's an incremental process.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Prepare for the next step!

Real done with this, they pushed it, and pushed it, at this point I am sad, but when they have to get a divorce and divide the property up and when they find out that a marriage can be the end to a good relationship. The license does not and will not make them happy because they think they need it. Guess it is all about what they want and need, to heck with common sense. That being said, I do so hope I do not ever have a issue come up because of this. I have said it before to each his own and I want nothing more to do or say about that life style. I am straight and I will never understand it, will have to deal with it now that yepppppi it has passed. lol Really. As long as they leave me alone I am good, and done.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You know, I never gave jack

You know, I never gave jack squat about the damn thing one way or the other. I just enjoyed watching the boo birds getting unglued over the things I wrote.
Here comes the bride and all that good stuff.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Same sex: the voters decided.

I spoke agaist changing the diff. marriage, on the former news stories. I still am not in support of the same. However at least now they can find out that marriage is not a bed of roses, and can be a bed of thorns. That marriage license will not prove a thing and can not garantee happiness, someone just told me that they may as well find out how miserable they can be when they now will once licensed and married, it comes with it own issues. DIVORCE, DIVISION OF PROPERTY ETC. None the less thankfully it a done deal, sure most will be glad not to have to deal with this reality of the sin or not sin. Issue. I for one am done with it, and will watch as the Divorce logs and the courts then have to handle the same. Good luck to those that figure they gained something special. As they say no gain no pain. DONE WITH THIS HOPE NOT TO DEAL WITH ANY POST RELATED ISSUES.

Wendi Ward's picture

So happy :)

So happy :)

Diana Currier's picture

congrats

you did it, have fun with it.

Jeff Johnson's picture

Sinners...

"The opposition to traditional marriage are slaves to sin," Taylor said. "My sympathy goes out to them and so do my prayers."

I'm hoping Rev. Doug is reading and can comment. I'm not a bible scholar, but I can only find one reference to homosexuality in the bible, in Leviticus. I don't believe there's anything in the New Testament about homosexuality at all.

Why is this such a passionate topic needing legislative campaigning from religious groups? Is someone more of a sinner for being homosexual than one who works on the sabbath?

Catherine Pressey's picture

WHY?

Well, why lets just say I have many times had converstion with a gay man in Calif. A friend of my gay sister that is now passed away, he told me that "we straight people can not understand this" And that they gay people should not expect someone that is straignt to understand or accept this issue. Jeff Johnson, you relate someone working on the sabbath in the same regard as someone sleeping with the same sex, with sex and for what one would call love. the same. Like apples and oranges. NO where the same. Anyhow the voters have spoken I am now glad to see this behinds us. With the fun, and happiness DIVORCE AND SUCH, THEY CAN now share all of the above with the rest of mankind. Divide their property and pay allomony too! Good day to you all and I do wish and pray for us all in this regard. Like it is said let he who is without sin throw the first stone. I can not thow that stone. Bye to this issue.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Historic victory for same-sex marriage

all , 21:00 hst Tuesday
† y v m Mainers United and all Mainers •
Equal rights , roles , and responsibilities for all . Like the President just said , they go together hand in glove . Love love • Ma'la'la'ma ( love and caring ) from Hawai'i . " Obama is ohana and ohana means family and family means never being left alone or forgotten . " -- Lilo . Cherish ƒamily . ..
Dr. Dosh and ohana ( four kids and counting )
http://hawaiiannames.hisurf.com/

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