AP has called
this election. For the first time ever, Maine voters have approved civil rights protections for gays and lesbians. In 1998 and 2000, in spite of a lead in polls that was bigger than some of the leads in recent polls, voters repealed the anti-discrimination law.
This is fantastic news, because it shows that gays can win at the ballot box. No, we didn't win in Texas, but the media would like us to believe that gays cannot win anywhere when the public has a choice. But this election proves otherwise. It also proves that voters are smart and fair people when you give them a chance. The hatemongers in Maine like Michael Heath tried to imply that gays caused Hurricane Katrina. They repeatedly claimed that this law would cause gay marriage. They ran fearmongering ads involving children. They hit the bottom of the barrel because they thought that was the best way to win.
Last year, Cincinatti, Ohio, not exactly the most progressive place, repealed a law barring civil rights laws for gays. This is just the next step in that process. Gays do not have to live in liberal meccas to have victories, we just have to fight smart, and fair, and honestly. And this was not just liberal vs. conservative or Republican vs. Democrat. This was about simple, sensible tolerance. Many Republicans worked to help make sure this law stayed on the books, and I hope that their party does not punish them for their integrity.
This victory was won by Maine Won't Discriminate and their efforts to turn out the college vote and to tell people what this law was all about - prejudice and bigotry, not marriage or an "agenda".
This victory was won by the many, many brave souls in Maine and all across America who came out when it was a risk to their physical and mental health. The many who have suffered and who have died because of hate, prejudice, bigotry. The thing that the far right theocrats claimed does not exist in Maine.
Maybe after tonight, they'll be right.
Thank you Maine! And thank you to so many if you voted against this repeal or told people about this repeal. This vote could have been a disaster if it was taken for granted.