As any queer with an internet connection probably knows by now, Question 1 passed in Maine, repealing a law passed earlier this year by the state legislature that legalized same-gender marriage. At the same time, Washington state looks set to approve Referendum 71 (the race has not been officially called), which creates a type of domestic partnership that’s more or less marriage in all but name, and the citizens of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed a landmark anti-discrimination ordinance that extends protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents of the city. Lastly, New Jersy’s biggest LGBT rights lobby group is revving the motor on plans to rush a same-gender marriage bill through January’s lame duck legislative session, to be signed by Governor John Corzine before his anti-LGBT successor comes into office. However, Maine was front-and-center in the national media spotlight and in many hearts; now, who do we blame for failure there, and where do we go from here?
David Mixner, as we reported yesterday, lays blame squarely at the feet of President Obama for refusing to lend his support to the forces of equality in Maine; the bloggers at Pam’s House Blend alternately blame the No on 1 campaign for not tugging on Mainers’ heartstrings more, or blame the Maine electorate, saying it’s still not time to put LGBT rights to a popular vote; others quibble with strategy, saying it’s time to unhitch the LGBT horses from the Democratic Party and make coalitions with libertarian conservatives.
But poll analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com says No on 1 ran a “tip-top operation,” suggesting that campaigns like that have a hard time swaying deeply-held beliefs. He wonders whether or not so-called “separate but equal” measures like Washington’s Referendum 71 ought to be the wave of the future, being theoretically more palatable to the average voter.
Lez Get Real has the best suggestion, though: the community should help protect the “sanctity of marriage,” by pushing for a ban on divorce in the states that have made the most progress in this arena, Maine and California.
North Carolina – Chapel Hill gets an openly gay mayor. (The Advocate)
California – The LAPD votes to end its association with the Boy Scouts of America over the organization’s homophobic policies. (The Advocate)