And it passed – meaning no gay marriage – by a slim margin (52-48). It is pretty disheartening. Nate Silver says the breakdown was urban vs. rural. “The results showed a very strong urban-rural divide, with the initiative being rejected by a margin of about 2:1 in Portland but racking up big margins in smaller towns and rural areas, especially in the north of the state.”
Silver also gives reasons why he thinks this happened: President Obama being soft on gay equality issues and the Right being more angry then the Left (and thus more willing to go out and vote). I want to throw my own quick analysis: In Florida, it is well-known that “Yes” wins on amendments/initiatives that get on the ballot. It is so true that questions are written so yes it “correct” answer. I don’t know if this phenomena would holds true in a midterm election, since people often aren’t going to the polls for any reason other than to vote for a specific issue*.
From the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality website:
“I’m proud of this campaign because the stories we told and the images we shared were of real Mainers — parents who stood up for their children, and couples who simply wanted to marry the person they love.”
I hope that those of us who aren’t gay will muster the outrage necessary to get up and go vote alongside people whose love is just as real and whose commitment is just as true. Shame on those who in Maine who didn’t.
*Just FYI, you don’t have to fill out the whole ballot. If you don’t know what an amendment is, you can skip voting on it.
**Update: Dale Carpenter over at Volokh Conspiracy wrote up a good piece about same-sex marriage and Maine. He points out that:
Maine was disappointing, though the bigger loss for SSM may have been the defeat of a pro-SSM governor in New Jersey, where the campaign had nothing to do with SSM and the governor ran under the slogan, “my opponent is a fatso.” The New Jersey legislature may yet enact an SSM bill in the lame-duck session, but that’s far from certain.