Vote “Yes on 1” in 2012 if You Live in Maine

I’m in Maine helping get out the vote for Question #1 to allow same-sex couples to marry.  People ask me why a straight guy from CT would drive 4 hours to ME and spend days canvassing neighborhoods and making calls for a cause that doesn’t affect me.  There’s no simple answer other than that I can. And because none of us is free when any of us is not.  Because none of us has dignity when any of us is denied it.  Because we’re all stuck here on this rock together.  Because ingroup and tribal mentality is beneath a thinking species.  Because my job went to some guys in India 7 months ago and I have free days.  Because I thought a trip would be fun.  Because I see how happy my same-sex married friends are in CT where their marriage is recognized. Because I detest the various forms of ignorance behind homophobia.  Because I find lesbians intriguing and nonthreatening.  Because I am proud that I have overcome small town prejudice against gay guys.  Because I had an elderly aunt who could not marry the love of her life and died before CT made it possible.  People shouldn’t have to suffer waiting for others to, as Samuel L. Jackson so eloquently says, “wake the fuck up!”  People shouldn’t have to suffer waiting for the future to arrive.

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3 Responses to Vote “Yes on 1” in 2012 if You Live in Maine

  1. Follow up:
    One of my team leaders up in Maine was a young woman who I figured was 24 to 26 years old based on her poise and professionalism. Turns out she is 17 and a junior in high school. She was juggling her time between “Yes on 1” actions and rehearsing for her part in her high school’s musical. She explained that as a lesbian, she had to give all she could to the same-sex ballot action, but she wasn’t going to let those who don’t accept her as she is to get in the way of her living a full life. This girl’s calm dignity in facing the prejudices of about half her state is one of the finest examples of equanimity that I’ve seen in people of any age. Just saying. And I told her so in as many words.

  2. Another followup:

    A recurring theme among the gays and lesbians and their many supporters in Maine who were fighting for their freedom to marry was that they would also fight for their opponents rights, including their right to believe and practice their religion to the extent that their religion doesn’t try to control other people’s lives.

    This was a new perspective for me. In the past I always assumed a partisa
    n stance on issues: me being right, of course, and the other side being wrong. What I saw helping out up in Maine is that it’s not about people being right and wrong, it’s about talking through the issue at hand but always keeping in mind that we are all living together here in a great democracy.

    For those that are not happy with the way the election worked out, I want you to know that I would work just as hard to defend *your* personal freedoms as I did for the gays and lesbians in Maine. It took me working for 4 days with truly open minded people to see past my partisan mindset and realize this.

  3. Oh, and they won! Same-sex couples can now enjoy the same dignity, benefits, trials and tribulations in marriage as heterosexuals in the state of Maine, and also Maryland and Washington state. Many thanks to the voters in those states who found the human decency to respect their gay and lesbian neighbors.

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