November 4th, 2009
07:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Maine Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Supporters of same-sex marriage are vowing to keep up their fight, after voters in Maine yesterday rejected a law allowing such unions.

Stunned and upset advocates of gay rights gathered on the steps of Portland's City Hall today for a news conference.

"It seems in the end Mainers are not ready to treat these families fairly," an emotional Betsy Smith, executive director of Maine Equality, told the crowd.

"Having the protections and the law, as well as the respect and dignity that comes only with marriage is a journey on which we will continue," Smith said.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting as of this morning, the campaign to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law won with 53 percent of the vote versus 47 percent opposed to the ballot measure, according to unofficial results compiled by the Bangor Daily News.

"The institution of marriage has been preserved in Maine and across the nation," Frank Schubert, chief organizer for the winning side, Yes on 1/Stand for Marriage Maine said last night.

Maine now joins 30 other states where voters have rejected same-sex marriage.

Five states – Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa – have legalized such unions.  But all did so through the courts or legislation, not by popular vote.

What do you think of the vote in Maine and the future fight for same-sex marriage? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight on 360°, we'll look at what's next in the aftermath of the Maine vote.

We'll also look at the other election results. The GOP won the governorship in Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats were victorious in  a bitter House race in upstate New York, taking a seat that had been in Republican-control since 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant was president.  We'll look at why voters seemed to vote the way they did yesterday and what it says about politics in America.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. Eastern. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Jane

    More and more people are tired of this being shoved down our throats. We dont care how you choose to live your life. It is your sexual preference. This should never have become political. You are not a minority because of sexual preference. No one can make someone believe the way they do. You know in your heart the constitution was written for the good of all. The constitution and the bible both say marriage is between a man and a woman. You will never make true Christians or conservatives change their mind. Trying to force the issue in our schools and ballots boxes only makes us stay true to our morals and beliefs.

    November 5, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  2. SLM

    Quit fighting to call it marriage.............if you put a proposition on the ballot to have the same rights as marriage and call it something else it will pass. This obviously is NOT about equal rights, it's about trying to redefine marriage. It is NOT the same thing, marriage is husband and wife. Civil unions with all the benefits of marriage. Civil unions would be partners. Redefining marriage is the problem, not your love or desire to have equal rights.

    November 5, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  3. Tim Gibson

    Civil rights are part of governments job and duty in upholding the constitution anyone who says otherwise is sadly mistaken. Go to any county building and witness the amount of people being married by a government employee, not a church leader, and not based on religion but on politics.

    Politics that excludes a minority througha vote of a majority is illegal, is wrong and must end. If you disagree, then you cannot agree that a justice of the peace who refuses to marry any couple on religious or personal grounds must be held accountable.

    November 5, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  4. Leslie A.

    Same Sex-marriage and Slavery
    Can people please stop using segregation or slavery as a back up of the same-sex marriage argument. Being a black woman myself, I think this is ridiculous! Preventing people in general from having rights and preventing people from deeming their union a marriage are TWO different things. Our people were beaten and cursed and denied rights as humans and not even considered humans. They were sold and captured and not given anything. Gays are considered adults, they don't have to (in a legislative stand point) be beaten for wanting to be recocnized as mere humans. So please people, stop using my people's history to support something totally unrelated. Marriage and someone's humanity are different..

    Seperation bw church and state:
    Personally I think if they want to have a civil union that is their choice but marriage is established as a sacred union by God and adopted by the government between a man and a woman. Children benefit from having both and they need both. Society is diminishing how vital it is in a child's life to have the male and female.

    People want to say there needs to be a seperation b.w church and state. Well the reality is there is no seperation. Many of the laws our country has have been based and taken straight from the bible. (ie. not murdering, not stealing, not lying etc) Man did not come up with these laws by himself. He needed someone higher to establish this because it is not like man to submit to something that prevents him from doing as he pleases. SO you want to argue there should be but there never will be. And I think governement needs as much church laws put in it as possible.

    November 5, 2009 at 3:08 am |
  5. cenk

    The trend is that the votes are coming closer to passing same sex marriage law. Maybe same sex marriage might help promote safer gay sex and decrease the spread of AIDS? OR may be safe sex and AIDS is a seperate issue? Maybe if prevention of AIDS was taught more widely, same sex relationships would not be so controversial????

    November 5, 2009 at 2:59 am |
  6. Robert Gomez

    Many parents suffer greatly when they discover that they have a gay or lesbian child because of these political decisions. Not giving complete equal rights to any group will make the young people in the group feel embarrassed and inferior.

    I just discovered during a visit to Cambridge that there was a time when women were only allowed to take some college classes and they were not allowed to take final examinations and graduate. In the future we will look back at these people who have legally discriminated against others with surprise and shame.

    November 5, 2009 at 2:51 am |
  7. Erica L. Burrell

    I really think Jesse Ventura last night on Larry King hit it right on the head. He said something along the lines. People should not be voting on social issues, if that was the case slavery would have been reinstated a long time ago.

    I say let people live they want without the government telling us whom we can and cannot marry. Aren't we supposed to be equals? It appears that people REALLY need to grow up and quit being bigots

    November 5, 2009 at 2:48 am |
  8. Robert Gomez

    It is a shame that a group of people have come together to take the freedom of a separate group.

    November 5, 2009 at 2:39 am |
  9. Stephen Tompkins

    After having read most of the what is said on this subject it is very clear that the terms marriage/civil union and separation of church and state are misunderstood. Marriage was established long before government(s) and civil unions. Marriage IS a religious ceremony by definition. It IS the union of a man and a women. Governments established it as a term to legally bind two people as a means of control. There is no place in the Bible that condones the union of two men or two women. It is condemn in both the new and old testament. This is a Fact. Christ did say hate the SIN not the sinner and verified the old testament by quoting from it when asked about marriage.
    Separation of church and state was intended that the government not establish a Church religion. Read your Constitution and the words of the Founding Fathers the majority of who were men of faith and had a belief in God though not necessarily Christian (Franklin wasn't but did say "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature")

    After all that I still say the right of two people to live together is still their choice (though not a CIVIL RIGHT again read your Constituion) God gave us a free will to follow his commandents. This IS a Republic not a Democracy. A Republic does protect the minority. AMEN

    November 5, 2009 at 2:15 am |
  10. Conserve' in USA

    It looks like some of you who quote the Bible forgot why Sodom and Gomorah was destroyed. Also, what happened and why the Earth was destroyed by water in Noah's time.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:58 am |
  11. Fred Whitted

    The discussion betwen Evan Wolfson and Tony Peterson regarding same – sex marriage was a good discussion. A fair and balanced discussion was well-moderated by Anderson Cooper. Evan Wolfson did a very good job of getting his points across and addressing the idiotic statements made by Tony Peterson in a very factual manner. If Tony Peterson is truly the head of a "family" group, why doesn't he understand that some families consist of same-sex couples?

    November 5, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  12. Mark

    What is the over all population for the State of Maine?

    November 5, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  13. Christian

    Everyone keeps equating the win (against gay marriage) in Maine with the win in California. However, most people I know in California that voted on the matter believe that the measure was written such that they did not realize they were voting against gay marriage.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  14. Shawn Hendricks

    Frustration is character building.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  15. Joe

    As a person who lives in maine I was disappointed at the outcome of yesterdays election. That being said I am PROUD to be from maine and look forward to the day that this is a NON issue and all my friends and family can share the same rights that I have with my wife. Before everyone dumps on the maine voters, I would like to point out that maine as had the closest ballot vote on same sex marriage out of any state that has voted on it. The states that have allowed or allow same sex marriages are states that don't allow peoples veto's, and didn't pass by a majorty vote. As sad as this sounds 47% is a high number of people who want same sex marriage rights for everyone. Soon maybe not soon enough but soon we will be the first state that the PEOPLE say we welcome everyone with open arms. This isn't the last you will read about this in maine but soon we will make sure that all people in maine share the same civil rights.... NUF SAID.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:03 am |
  16. Ed Townsend

    I keep hearing the words "taking away their rights".
    As far as I know the right to marry the same sex has never been established.
    My concern is for children, which no one seems to talk about, Everything discussed is me, my rights my feelings. It really makes me shudder when I think of the children growing up either in these relationships, or just having experience with them. What kind of view do those kids grow up with?
    . . . or maybe that's the plan, to distort the growing minds until every 'abnormality' is accepted.
    To me it's the start of a slippery downhill road.


    November 5, 2009 at 12:03 am |
  17. michael

    You have all missed the point a marrage is a union of a man and a woman a family is a mother and a father and children. now you can cloud this issue with accusations of gay repression but it is not people just want to preserve marrage and family. If chose to unite with someone of your own gender then find your own designation for it ours doesnt seem to fit your actions

    November 4, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  18. David Jones-Munoz

    I think everyone working so hard for Marriage Equality will find that this is just the begining. We need to be stronger and clearer with our message. It is interesting to see how these groups (Catholic Church, NOM, and Mormons) want to define how the majority of people "think", even though these groups are nothing but hypocritical about their definitions. Marriage Equality groups need to centralize their efforts and develop resources that can truely compete against the lies, and hate that is being spread.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  19. cchandler85

    This is an argument of emotion, not logic. Arguing logical points will do nothing. Religion is not based in logic. So stop arguing, it's not going to change anything. If people want change, then they will stop talking and be proactive. Everyone on both sides should take this as a lesson and move on to the next battle ground. The sooner we stop arguing about illogical semi-religious statement, and move on to stopping war, disease, and hunger the better off we will all be.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  20. Pachecosita

    Only if you are a homosexual you can understand what all this mean. Another slap on the face for all of us. We have been treated like dirt all of our lives for who we are. Science needs to come out loudly and explain what homosexuality is.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  21. Aaron

    In response to Gordo... remember that equality thing in the Constitution? And in agreement with another writer... eventually the courts will see it clearly. The majority has no right to bully the minority.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  22. Theresa

    I live in Maine and voted no one question one. I am straight and consider myself to be a spiritual, even religious, person. I just wanted to say that although the 53% won the majority, you have to remember that 47% of us were supportive of equal rights. not all people in Maine are against equal rights.
    I only know 3 people who voted yes – ALL of my other friends voted no. We were all disheartened by the loss. The churches and out of state groups really influenced this election and the commercials were downright hateful and fear-based.
    The earlier comments on separating church and state are 'spot on'. Nobody seems to care if two athiests, or two Buddhists, get married so why do we throw the Bible at gays? Why must all people conform to what the Bible says? If you are a Christian and believe that the Bible is the truth, then that's great. It's YOUR truth. Love by those rules for yourself and for your salvation.
    I am not overly concerned with saving everyone around me. Pray for othes if you want but don't discriminate. And anyway, isn't Jesus is all about love? In any form.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  23. Brian

    Marriage is between a man and a woman, that's the law. If a gay man wants to marry he has the right to marry, but he has to find a female partner to marry him. Love is not a legal requirement for marriage. Marriage requires a consenting male (husband) and consenting female (wife), that's the legal definition of marriage, even without statutory law that would be the legal definition of marriage under Common Law.

    For you non religious people out there, what right do you have to tell people like me who's religious beliefs are in favor of traditional marriage how we can or cannot vote? Voting is a fundamental right is it not? You don't have a problem with people who's religious views are in favor of same sex marriage voting do you?

    November 4, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  24. Brian ~indepinion

    What ever happened to just treating others with respect and the way you would want to be treated? I admittedly fail to fully understand all the reasons the gay community continues to fight for marriage rights. However; I am a person that strongly believes in freedom of choice, as long as it doesn't harm others. I think falls into that category, so let them do what they want.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  25. Suzanne

    Marriage has nothing to do with the religion. Religion is a red herring in this argument about equality. I don't understand why people can't understand this. If you cannot grasp the concept that American rights aren't granted on the basis of religion, please stop voting and screwing up the rights of your fellow American citizens. Thanks.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  26. John Stowers

    I would like to see a CNN segment on the history of this State legislation by proposition. Isn't it just a way around our "representative" form of government. Have "we the people" become a 4th branch of government, writing and passing legislation with a simple majority "thumbs up/thumbs down" vote. Where are the checks and balances? How do we protect the rights of the minority in this process? Very curious.

    – john

    November 4, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  27. Alexander Dukas

    47% – For Equality / Inclusion / Humanity
    53% – For Oppression of Minorities

    In this, the 21st Century, How DARE 53% of a population be given the right to strip the rights and banish to second class citizenship less than 10% of their population?!?

    To those who voted for us, thank you so much.

    To those who voted against us, do us all a favor and drop-dead as you are an insult to humanity.

    Don't like gays in your life, church, and schools, fine, then stay away from us in your pathetic exclusionary world because we don't like people like you anyway.

    But don't dare ask us to cook your food, cater your weddings, beautify your home, or enjoy our many other cultural contributions after you've voted us as sub-human.

    You do NOT have the right to limit other people's ability to constructively live their lives in human civilization even if (for now) you have the power just because you disagree with their choices.

    I used to think that New Hampshire was the New England state to be embarrassed by for it's conservative attitudes but I see that Maine has taken that title.

    Maine... the way life should be... if you want to feel free to oppress fellow human beings.

    53% of you are simply disgusting failures as human beings.

    We are on this Earth for such a short time, to limit/destroy someone else's ability to celebrate their love and build a family is blasphemy of the highest order.

    This is a DISGRACE to Maine and to New England.

    November 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  28. Damien

    Sure, God created Adam and Eve, and the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus, and any number of other fairy tales.

    If you're going to participate in an argument about constitutional rights in a country which claims to keep church and state separate, try not to bring your own personal religious views into the argument. Adam and Eve are part of an oral history that was hundreds of years old before it was ever set down on paper by a people too primitive to understand dinosaurs, much less that the earth is infinitely older than they are.

    November 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  29. Roberto Garcia

    If the bible says it should be between a man and women, then that's the way it should be. The author of the bible, for all we know, could have been today's version of J.K. Rowling. I often wonder what this world would be like if the bible had ever hinted Jesus had a male lover. If that were the case then maybe the bible wouldn't be taken so literally!!! I am a gay man and I am not demanding the right to marry another man nor will I ever. I don't need a piece of paper to validate my love. "I now pronounce you husband and wife......you now have a 50/50 chance!" Maybe divorces should be made illegal....now that's a concept!!!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  30. brittany

    Every man should be treated equally if they want same sex marriage let them its there life to live not yours

    November 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  31. Charles

    I agree Marc! Nuff said. The people have spoken and yes God created Adam and Eve, not Angie and Eve!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  32. Joseph Santini

    Maine, another exemple of a majority of bigots. California is no longer the only one!!!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  33. Manuel Mota, M.D.

    Excellent discussion Anderson. I just want to highlight a fact that many refuse to see: Almost 99% of cases of child abuse (physical, mental or sexual) happen in the context of an union between a man and a woman.
    Passion and our own fears should not blind reason but they do.
    I wish those who worry so much about the welfare of children will show their commitment in other ways too...So much volunteer work is needed.

    November 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  34. Stephen

    actually God created Adam and Steve and Joe and all of us...your arguments are ridiculous.....get an education

    November 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  35. Rob

    I'm not "gay" but I think discriminating against them for purely religious reasons is so wrong that it's ..evil.

    I'm sick of so-called religious people imposing their primitive beliefs upon the rest of the world.

    In my opinion, ANYONE who uses ANY sort of religious doctrine to justify their politics should be vehemently opposed, and exposed for what they are: Pathetic Nutjobs!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
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