Maine Voters Reject Same Sex Marriage

Well, the New York Times called it a "stinging setback for the national gay-rights movement" and they are certainly right.

Yesterday Maine voters narrowly decided to repeal the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage. Although early returns from the polls showed an extremely close contest, this morning, with 87 percent of precincts reporting, nearly 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal (Question #1 on the ballot), ending what has certainly been an exhaustive and emotional referendum on the national gay-marriage movement. Polls leading up to yesterday's vote had suggested a much closer race.

With this apparent repeal of the same-sex marriage law, Maine will become the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Although five other states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont) do have legalized same-sex marriage in their states, in each of these cases, the same-sex marriage laws came through court rulings and legislative action, not through ballot initiatives voted on by citizens.

Sadly, also in New Jersey, Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who, as we blogged about yesterday, supports gay marriage, lost to Republican Christopher Christie, who strongly opposes it.

While what happened in Maine yesterday is certainly disappointing news, I have no doubt that the gay rights movement will continue to persevere. One of the silver linings from yesterday’s disappointing outcome in Maine is that voter turnout was above average for the state, which typically tends to favor gay marriage. So let us remember that this is not the end of the fight to support same sex couples, it is only the beginning. We are sure that those fighting for gay rights will continue to be energized in this fight.