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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Maine

2012-NOV: Vote taken on Question 1.
Marriage equality

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In this section, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage, and
"LGBT" refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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2012-NOV-06: Election day: The people voted for the second time. Question 1 reinstates marriage equality in Maine:

Photo of pro-SSM rally

A pro-marriage equality rally.


  • A final poll was taken by the Maine People's Resource Center from NOV-01 to 03. A few days before election day, 50.5% said they would vote in favor of Question 1 while 46.5 said they would oppose it for a margin of only 4 percentage points. In politics, momentum is everything. PollTracker noted that support was dropping like a stone while opposition was rapidly increasing. (N = 905; margin of error is 3.3 percentage points.) Indications at that point were that Question 1 would fail. However, it appears to have passed. 1

  • Although it seems a bit premature, Mainers United for Marriage had already declared victory by 06:30 ET on NOV-07 on the basis of a preliminary vote count. They tweeted: "Maine voters approve the freedom to marry! For the first time, marriage wins at the ballot." 2

  • With 51% reporting on NOV-07, Question 1 was succeeding 51.1% to 48.9%, for a margin of 2.2 percentage points.

  • With 90% of the votes counted, the Huffington Post reported that the vote was 53% in favor, 47% opposed for a margin of 6 percentage points. 3

  • Still later, with 92% of the votes counted, 52.9% were in favor of SSM and 47.1% opposed for a margin of 5.8 percentage points. 4

  • The Huffington Post reported that with 98% of the precincts reporting, 52.65% were in favor of SSM and 47.3% opposed for a margin of 5.35 percentage points. 3 (updated)

  • The 2012 referendum passed. The marriage law that had been repealed in 2009 will be reinstated. Marriage will be available to all loving committed couples, whether of the same gender or opposite gender.

It is quite possible that the matter will not be settled by this referendum. There may well be a series of referendums in future years seeking to alternately ban and permit SSM. The question of marriage equality may not be settled until one side achieves really substantial majority support, or runs out of money, or lacks enthusiasm to continue the fight.

Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights group called the result a "landmark" move. He said:

"For the first time, voters in Maine and Maryland voted to allow loving couples to make lifelong commitments through marriage — forever taking away the right-wing talking point that marriage equality couldn't win on the ballot." 5

In a press released on the evening of election day, he said:

"This is a landmark election for marriage equality and we will forever look back at this year as a critical turning point in the movement for full citizenship for LGBT people. Voters in Maine came to the common-sense conclusion that all people deserve the ability to make loving, lifelong commitments through marriage." 5

In an Email to the Huffington Post, Griffin wrote:

"We are thrilled for all Maine families and for the dedicated campaign that led this effort through to the end. As we celebrate victory tonight we know we have added momentum to ensure that this victory is soon felt in every corner of this country." 3

State Rep. David Johnson (R) expressed his disapproval of SSM. Referring to his gay brother who died of cancer in 2012-APR and also to his brother's same-sex partner, Johnson said:

"I miss my brother and stay in contact with his partner because I love them both and know many other gay couples and love them dearly as well. It has taken me a while, but I have finally figured out that God’s plan is better than man’s plan in all aspects of life. He [God] constructed marriage this way for a reason. Numerous studies confirm this, showing that kids do much better when raised by their married mother and father. ... The fact remains that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman, and we have no right to redefine marriage." 6

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Project Marriage Maine is the leading group attempting to prohibit marriage by same-sex couples. 8 Their home page starts:

"Marriage is under attack in Maine. For the first time in history, gay marriage activists have pursued a ballot measure to redefine marriage. Usually they prefer activist judges and radical politicians to redefine marriage, ignoring the wishes of the voters.

In 2009, Maine voters overturned efforts to redefine marriage in our state by voting 53 percent to 47 percent in support of traditional marriage. In the process a clear message was sent to the nation-even “blue” New England states support preserving marriage." 6

The term "traditional marriage" refers to a marriage restricted to one woman and one man. The term "preserving marriage" means to prevent same-sex couples from being able to marry.

Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Portland said on the day following the vote that he is:

"... deeply disappointed that a majority of Maine voters have redefined marriage from what we have understood it to be for millennia by civilizations and religions around the world," he said. "I especially want to thank the Catholic faithful who did not abandon Catholic teachings on the nature of marriage." 7

That is a surprising comment, because the Bible contains references to over a dozen men who married multiple women. This includes Solomon who married 700 times! Even today, in many predominately Muslim countries, Muslim men can marry up to four women. As noted below under "Webmaster's comments" marriages have been redefined many times in the history of the U.S.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a press release stating:

"When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box. The dreams of millions of fair-minded Americans were realized as discrimination crumbled and equality prevailed." 7

It seems that when all the votes have been counted that between the times of the two referendums in 2009 and 2012, the people of Maine have flip-floped exactly: from 52% opposed and 47% in favor to the exact reverse.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Casey Michel, "Poll: Push To Legalize Gay Marriage Leads By Slim Margin In Maine," Talking Points Memo (TPM), 2012-NOV-06, at:
  2. Mainers United: Thank you Maine!," Twitter, 2012-NOV-07, at:
  3. "Maine Passes Gay Marriage In Historic 'Question 1' Vote," Huffington Post, 2012-NOV-07, at:
  4. "Maine Same-Sex Marriage Question, Question 1 (2012)," Ballotpedia, as on 2012-NOV-08, PM, at:
  5. David Crary, "Maine, Maryland vote to legalize gay marriage," Associated Press, 2012-NOV-07, at:
  6. "David Johnson, Maine State Representative, Invokes Memory Of Gay Brother While Opposing Same-Sex Marriage," Huffington Post, 2012-NOV-05, at:
  7. Susan Cover, "Bishop Malone 'deeply disappointed' in Question 1 results," Kennnebec Journal, 2012-NOV-07, at:
  8. Project Marriage Maine has its home page at:
  9. "Marriage equality victory delared in Maine," Towleroad, 2012-NOV-07, at:

Copyright 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2012-NOV-07
Latest update: 2012-DEC-05
Author: B.A. Robinson

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