Massachusetts, Connecticut… maybe Maine in 2009?

Back in 2007, a petition drive supporting same sex marriage in Maine got only 504 of its required 1000 signatures.

On Election Day 2008, 100 polling stations in 12 of Maine’s 16 counties collected a whopping 33,000+ signatures.

EqualityMaine’s goal was 10,000– and they hit that by noon. Way to go!!

It was a huge and well-organized effort of 100 poll captains and 300 volunteers at almost 100 sites all over the state. This from Public Policy Director Darlene Huntress, reporting from the field on Election Day:

We hit our goal of 10,000 signatures by noon on Election Day.

I was stunned, but there was no time to slow down and celebrate. Calls began pouring in from our volunteers — they were running out of postcards, and voters wanted to sign. We scrambled to print and deliver thousands more postcards across the state.

“Lines at the polls were long, but even after waiting an hour or more to vote, people waited in line to sign our postcards. As the postcards ran out, voters began signing scraps of paper, jotting their names and addresses down on anything they could find, and handing them to our volunteers.

“When we approached voters about marriage equality for all couples in committed relationships, the most frequently-asked question we heard was this: Where do I sign? I’m so proud of our hard-working field organizers and volunteers. And I’m so proud of my fellow Mainers, who realize that marriage is about treating all families equally under the law.

That makes me proud to be a Mainer. While family needs dictated that I had to stay home on JTI Day, I am scheduled to spend time this coming week at EqualityME HQ, tickety-typing and data-entering as many of those postcards and little scraps of paper as I can.

Volunteers are needed to data-enter all of those folks’ info for submission to the Legislature in Augusta. If you can donate some of your time, please contact EqualityMaine…Not only were Maine citizens showing support for SSM, they also took the next step of electing more pro-equality state legislature members than ever before. Or as EqME says:

Maine voted. Equality won.

EqualityMaine is proud to announce the re-election of all 15 pro-equality incumbents in the State Senate who were eligible for another term. Eight new pro-equality candidates were elected to join them, bringing the pro-equality majority in the State Senate to a total of 23.

In the State House of Representatives, EqualityMaine is proud to announce the re-election of 58 pro-equality incumbents who were eligible for another term. Twenty-four new pro-equality candidates were elected to join them, which means we hold a pro-equality majority of 82 in the House.

Certainly this from Mike Heath of “The Maine Family Policy Council” (the group formerly known as “The Christian Civic League”) is encouraging…man, does he sound GLUM.

This from before the election:

League director Mike Heath believes that nothing positive is going to happen unless a powerful sector aligns with the traditional marriage movement by contributing at least a half million dollars before the end of the year. Evangelical Christians and churches have formed the only substantive resistance to liberalizing pressures on the family in Maine over the past two decades.  Their power has declined to where it is no longer enough.

Heath says it is even questionable whether there is sufficient power left in Maine’s conservative movement to stop the well-funded gay rights movement from winning either same sex marriage or civil unions next year.

“The Catholic Church, a significant force within the Maine Democrat Party, is silent,”  said Heath.  “As far as I know they are doing nothing politically to advance either the pro life or pro family cause.”

While the League has won two squeakers on gay rights without the Chancery, and while fighting every other institutional force in Maine, the ministry lost the last statewide battle in 2005.

Earlier this year the League floated a referendum proposal that was cancelled for lack of funding, church and activist support.

Ah, so THAT’S what it was… for awhile, CCL was griping that the referendum’s failure to garner support was due to “transgendered intimidation of Christian grandmothers”– wonder when and why the framing was changed?

Maybe it was because of this reaction on Primary Day?

So will Maine join Massachusetts and Connecticut in 2009? I sure hope so…