Same sex marriage is once again debated in Maine

8:49 PM, Jul 14, 2010   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been just eight months since voters turned down Maine's same sex marriage law, but both sides say the issue isn't going anywhere.

The National Organization for Marriage, a group which helped local efforts to overturn Maine's law, made Augusta its first stop on a 20-city tour, targeting areas where it feels traditional marriage is under attack. Brian Brown, the organization's executive director, told his crowd of about 50 people that court cases in Massachusetts and in California affect the marriage issue across the country.

California's Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment against same sex marriage, is being challenged in the courts. And in Massachusetts, the attorney general is filing a lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Brown says this national tour is about making sure voters stay energized and don't get complacent. He says activist judges are making those who support traditional marriage out to be bigots, and they're not.

"We don't accept these ridiculous arguments that this simple idea, this common sense idea that it takes a man and a woman to make a marriage is somehow bigoted," he said.

Meanwhile, a group led by the gay rights group EqualityMaine, wanted to make sure its supporters know it's not giving up either. Executive director Betsy Smith says she has no immediate plans to bring the issue back to the legislature or to the courts in Maine. But there will be a lot of work done behind the scenes.

"We're changing a culture," Smith said. "And to change a culture, you have to move people. So we're ready to do the work anyway, let's do the work of changing the culture."














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