By Kathleen Gilbert
AUGUSTA, Maine, November 4, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Maine voters handed traditional marriage supporters a major victory Tuesday night after rejecting a same-sex "marriage" law that the state government approved six months ago.
Though signed by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, the law never went into effect, and remained in limbo after the success of the ballot initiative calling for a people's vote.
Had the law been upheld, Maine would have been the sixth U.S. state to allow homosexual "marriage," after Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
As of early Wednesday, the law was defeated 53% to 47%, despite polling data leading up to the vote showing the race in a dead heat. A similar scenario played out last year in California, where a neck-and-neck battle ended with 52% of voters rejecting same-sex "marriage." A national survey of marriage initiatives by ProtectMarriage.com last September showed that polling data underestimated voter support for true marriage on election day by an average of 7 percentage points.
The Stand for Marriage Maine campaign celebrated its victory at a Portland rally beginning at midnight Wednesday.
"We've struggled, we've worked against tremendous odds, as we've all known," said campaign manager Marc Mutty. "We prevailed because the people of Maine, the silent majority, the folks back home spoke with their vote tonight."
Maine's same-sex "marriage" activists on the other hand, who had banked on the state's left-leaning electorate to push the new definition of marriage through, vowed to continue the fight.
"We're not short timers. We're in for the long haul,'' said No on 1 campaign manager Jesse Connolly early this morning. Connolly's campaign has yet to officially concede the vote, and ABC News reports that the Protect Maine Equality campaign is likely to call for a statewide recount, which could take several weeks to conclude.
Same-sex "marriage" has now lost in all 31 states in which the question has been put to a popular vote.
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), pointed out: "Every time Americans vote on marriage, traditional marriage wins. As people become aware of the true homosexual agenda, that it is not about equality but indoctrinating children and discriminating against Christians, they shore up protections against it."
Maine's vote marks the third time citizens have rejected same-sex "marriage" in response to action by the state government. One year ago today, 52% of California voters also upheld traditional marriage, striking down a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual "marriage" in May. In 1998, Hawaii became the first state with a constitutional amendment dealing with homosexual "marriage" in response to a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that declared it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Hawaiian voters then passed Amendment 2, which gave the legislature the power to reserve marriage to unions of man and woman.
Though outspent two to one, the traditional marriage campaign received a boost from Portland Bishop Richard Malone, whose advocacy for true marriage helped solidify the response of Maine's Catholics. Catholics constitute 37% of the Maine population. "The Catholic Church led the fight in Maine against those seeking to reinvent marriage, and won," said Catholic League president Bill Donohue Wednesday.
Maine's victory was not the only one for marriage Tuesday night: the losses suffered by pro-same-sex "marriage" Democrats in Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races pose a significant hurdle to homosexualist advocates. The victory of New Jersey Republican Chris Christie was particularly significant, as same-sex "marriage" supporters now only have until January to push through their legislation in time for lame duck Gov. Jon Corzine to sign it. Christie has vowed to veto any legislation legalizing same-sex "marriage."
"Gov. Corzine said gay marriage was 'on the ballot' with him in New Jersey this year. Today, New Jersey voted 'No' on both of them," said Len Deo, President of the New Jersey Family Policy Council.
Washington, D.C.'s city council is also preparing to approve a same-sex "marriage" law. Conservative D.C. activists are gathering support for a referendum to protect traditional marriage.
See previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage: