Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tied in Maine

Public opinion on Question 1 in Maine, which would reject the state's law allowing same sex couples to marry, is knotted up two weeks before election day. 48% of voters in the state support it and 48% oppose it.

With most voters' minds made up the election is not really about persuasion at this point but turnout. Even a small difference in the ability of supporters and opponents of the referendum to get their folks out to the polls could tip the scales with the issue this close.

One determining factor could be the age distribution of the electorate. Senior citizens often dominate in low turnout elections and they're strongest in their support of rejecting the law with 54% planning to vote for Question 1 to 40% opposing it. Voters under 65 oppose the referendum by a 50-46 margin but they'll have to come out if they're going to combat the influence of the more conservative leaning older voters.

Opinion on the issue is predictably polarized along party lines but perhaps not as much as you would expect. 25% of Democrats support rejecting the law while 23% of Republicans oppose doing so. There's a higher level of party crossover on this question than there is for instance on President Obama's approval rating in the state where only 16% of Republicans give him good marks and just 13% of Democrats think he's doing a poor job.

Interestingly white voters in the state oppose the referendum by a 49-47 margin, but nonwhite voters support it 55-35. That's a small swath of the electorate in Maine but it's enough to create an overall tie in these numbers.

It's going to be a close one!

Full results here

22 comments:

808lika said...

Please, young people, get out the vote. My lgbtiq students deserve the same choices for the future that the straight kids enjoy!

Flyfish said...

As a Mainer and a conservative I'm not in favor of this referendum. Any conservative that believes in enabling the individual over the state should be opposed to this. Either people are all equal or they are not.

I would be opposed to requirement that forces pastors or priests to marry anyone regardless of personal belief, but have no objection to gay/lesbian marriage. That seems to me to be a reasonable compromise that doesn't infringe on anyone.

Rasmus said...

So you would say that pastor or priests don't have to marry interracial couples, if they don't want to?

Eric Dondero said...

As a Libertarian I support the amendment.

Government should stay out of this. If two Gay or Lesbian folks want to get married, Great! Nobody says you can't go to a public park, get a permit from the city government, and have a ceremony, a party afterwards even.

Go for it! Just keep the Government out of it.

A vote against this amendment - in favor of Government sponsored Gay Marriage - is essentially a vote for the Big Government Nanny State being involved in peoples' private lives.

Anonymous said...

Eric, that doesn't add up: how can anyone "get a permit from the city government" AND "keep the government out of it." This is logically impossible.

Under U.S. law, marriage is a legal contract warranted by government. Clergy are empowered as agents for the government in this contract -- not the other way around.

Right now, many churches legally forbid marriages that are legal under civil law, but not under their tenets. For example, a Catholic church may legally refuse to marry any couple who are not both Catholics in good standing. That couple may then go to a civil authority to be married, if they so choose.

This is how it should be for everyone. Let churches have whatever restrictions they prefer for themselves -- but not enforce their own strictures upon everyone else in society.

Anonymous said...

You're a moron, Eric.

This isn't about permits for meaningless ceremonies.

While I agree the government needs to butt out, the only way to effectively take it out of the equation is to remove the unconstitutional discrimination in application of the laws that do exist.

If you want to get rid of government marriage, do it all in one fell swoop after rendering it moot by equal protection, not by screwing over gays and lesbians, then sitting on your hands as nobody supports your ultimate goal.

Anonymous said...

All men are created equal and any law that denies people equality because of who they are is not a law any American should support.

Vote no on 1.

Anonymous said...

I live in Maine and I am a non white I think this issue should not be left up to mob rule. Civil rights are not good to be left up to a vote. If we left up the civil rights bill based on race we would still have segregation in the south as well as the north. The yes on one campaign is spreading lies about gay rights and should be confronted on this issue.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to hear from a pussy, I would have queefed. YES ON PROP 1!

Anonymous said...

Please vote YES and stop this from happening. This will show the country that we do have a voice and can change what the Goverment wants to do to us Americans.

Anonymous said...

The Maine yes on 1 campaign continues to spread lies about same-sex marriage being taught in school. Even the state attorney general opposes yes on 1 untrue ads. Equality over segregation... Keep Maine equal! NO on 1. Also visit the no on 1 website to sign to defeat question 1. Www.Protectmaineequality.Org

Anonymous said...

Traditional marriage (one man and one woman) has been the fabric of our society since before Thomas Jefferson crafted our constitution. Our society has honored this institution for over 200 years and it has been the catalyst through which we have become the greatest country on earth. Its true, traditional marriage creates strong families and healthy and confidant children. Massachusetts has redefined marriage to include homosexual couples...now they teach homosexual material to our children in elementary school...and there is nothing that people from Mass. can do about it. Do some research yourself and you will discover that this is the truth. READ all about it...at MASSRESISTANCE.ORG. The Vote NO campaign does not want you to know this...its their BIG SECRET. Maine already has a domestic partner law that guarantee's same sex couples equal treatment and partner benefits. That is sufficient. We should not take the name and honor of a time tested institution and sully it by redefining it for homosexuals. Please honor the founders of our nation and Vote YES on Question 1.

Mathew said...

I am an avid supporter and volunteer for the No On 1 campaign in Maine for it is my true belief that 'it is not equal if it's sometimes.' I have heard ads from both sides and listened to the lies from Yes On 1 and quite frankly I am tired of it. My six year old daughter in first grade went to class a couple of weeks ago and students were asking why she had two daddies present at her soccer game the prior evening. Teachers and school staff heard the questioning and immediately addressed the issue by sending a letter in the mail in a sealed envelope. Following are exerpts from the letter my daughter brought home from school; "This memo is brought to you in an enclosed envelope do the nature of it's contents... it is our belief that school faculty is not responsible for educating children about relationships no matter of the nature of that relationship. Questions have arisen within school boundries concerning Question 1 on this years ballot and we can not express enough how unrelated this issue is to the curiculum taught at ----------- Elementary School. We encourage conversation pertaining to this particular referendum question be had within the homes of our students and not the classrooms..."
The letter goes on asking parents to understand and thank them for their cooperation. I am fully confident that same-sex marriage will not be taught in our schools just the same as heterosexual marriage is not. The Attorney General and many of her collegues have called upon the Yes On 1 campaign to recall their latest advertisements because there has been no truth found in them. The No On 1 ads on the other hand have been nothing but truthful and involve real Mainers and their families. Again I have to reiterate the importance of this law because...' it is not equal if it is sometimes.'

Anonymous said...

All families need to be protected.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of people like 808lika and Rasmus speaking about homosexuals as an ethnic group, THEY ARE NOT! Homosexuality is a psychological, compulsive behavior. It has nothing to do with genetics (and there have been many researchers trying to prove so with no results). In fact, homosexuality is harmful to the people that live in it. Homosexuals have a shorter life expectancy, contract more sexually transmitted diseases and have a suicide rate 3 times higher than heterosexuals (this includes heterosexuals that are a part of oppressed minorities, so incase you are thinking of responding by saying "you would too if you were oppressed and discriminated against," save it. Homosexuals have the popular support of the news media, have special protection under hate crime laws and enjoy the more media attention than virtually any other political group, so I would say, they are definitely NOT oppressed. Their high suicide rate and high STD rate is due to homosexual behavior (the emptiness of it) and homosexual compulsion. “Gay,” is a poor euphemism because homosexuals are anything but happy. We would be doing them a favor in the long run by preserving marriage as a heterosexual union and supporting programs that help people escape the bondage of homosexual compulsion. We must vote yes on Question 1.

deshard said...

Anonymous 10/24 3:22pm

You are an idiot. Even worse, you're an ignorant idiot.

I'm gay. And guess what. I'm HAPPY. 16 yrs with the same wonderful man and we have a great life filled with love, family, friends and luckily, success.

Yet, somehow you in your ignorant little corner of Maine seem to know more about me and the millions of other American homosexuals and yet you've not met any of us.

That is the height of arrogance that comes from ignorance.

Anonymous said...

There is a DIFFERENCE when a man and woman have sexual intercourse: A new life is made. There is no such life made when two of the same sex engage in a sexual union. Hence, it is CORRECT to vote YES on 1.
I support the right of same sex couples to have what married couples have, but let's recognize the DIFFERENCE in the mating and do this with a civil union law (2 of the same sex CANNOT marry!)

Anonymous said...

Please don't dismiss this comment so lightly simply because it may be for or against the 'other' side.

I was seriously questioning some of my previous standings on this issue because of the difference in opinions on this issue between my girlfriend and me. Together, we talked about it and decided the only issue that it all boiled down to was; whether or not homosexuality was genetic. I spent the last few months, yep months, researching both sides for genetic studies and information about homosexuality and genetics before coming to a conclusion.

Let me say, I am appalled how people don't research a single bit of information about this topic and can still feel as strongly as they for or against either side.

-Homosexuals are a group of people defined by their actions. And fundamentally, I find it considerably different from a class of people defined by a characteristic such as race.

-Society has the right to reject declare actions or behaviors they find unethical to the illegal. For example, a rapist cannot rape even if he/she wants to rape. Or similarly; a 50 year old man cannot marry a 8 year old girl. even if they both concede to it.

continued on next post...

Anonymous said...

-Finally, whether homosexuality is genetic. This research took a lot of analysis because I needed to analyze the methods used in each study I read to conclude the results matchedou, I assume you will as well in your own research. The human genome has been entirely mapped. No specific mendelian gene or combination of genes has been found to indicate homosexuality is inherited. Both sides presume that if homosexuality was some how uncontrolled and predetermined, it wouldn't be a specific dna sequence you could pinpoint, but maybe rather a 'herited' gene. An inherited gene is the the traditional dna sequence that defines your physical attributes whereas a herited gene is a trait that is passed on through some of means (whether its through brain growth patterns or anything really). For example; blue eyes is an inherited gene and alcoholism may be a herited gene (good evidence to suggest such). The such part is whats hard to really pin point, but there are ways like a twin study. In a twin study, several people are grouped in two and studied to determine the concordinace rate (the percentage of study that both people in the pair either had or didnt have the quality). A good twin study makes groups like identical/fraternal twins, siblings close/far in age, adopted siblings close/far in age, and pairs with no relation applied to both male and female. A trait can be proven to be heritable if sets with higher genetic relations (identical twins) have a significantly higher (more than 10 times others) concordance rate than groups with lower genetic relations. From these groups you can assume the family related groups would be subject to similar environments. Therefore, the adopted siblings should be used as a control variable to represent the effects of the environment on an individual's traits. In all studies, identical twins had the highest concordance rates (from 20%-40% depending on the study and source). The study finishes with just those facts and not about the other groups. In the studies with each groups rates published, the second and third highest concordance rates belonged to the adopted twins close/far apart in age. Yes, the control group for environmental effects! Which should mean that homosexuality can be attributed to the enviroment, and not through any heritable traits. This also makes sense for why identical twins were the highest groups; they were in similar environments. I put a lot of work researching a lot of studies. There are many other types that I could bore you with like brain development patterns. But twin studdies where one of the primary reasons why the APA, American Psychological Association, changed its classification of homosexuality as a Physiological Disorder.

-Furthermore, good evidence suggests if homosexuality were genetic, then there would need to be separate genes (inherited/herited) to define the other sexual orientations, such as bisexuals.

-In other studies not related to genetics, homosexuals have been recorded to be able to change their sexual orientation at much, much higher rates than other heritable trait groups such as alcoholics.

If you get one thing out of reading this, it is; Research and examine it for yourself.

Anonymous said...

New life is the only reason for marriage? Pshaw. Children do not define marriage. Besides, straight or not, I'd be much more fulfilled with adopting children in need of a home. But it's not what this is about, is it?

You'd like to say that, because you are conservative, you are against government making immediate laws without the peoples' consent. Understandable. However, by voting Yes on 1, you are also using the government to regulate people from having legal marriages, which is really no better then, say, disabling people 50+ from being able to smoke (and as much as I hate cigarettes and the tobacco industry, I am against the taxes and smoking area regulations being forced upon Mainers).

Marriage is when two people are seen and proved as a union by law. Instead of being two people in one household, they are a couple. Why waste so much effort in trying to make half of a marriage by establishing civil unions and domestic partnerships, which are, in essence, half-marriages. (And no, domestic partnerships are NOT sufficient, as they only cover burial rights and inheritance.)

If I wanted to make a wedding ceremony, I can. I can order the outfits, hire an ordained minister, reserve a place for a reception party, the whole shebang. Anyone can do that. It's not illegal for two same-sex couples to have a wedding and be seen as a couple. It is not (yet in Maine) legal, however, to obtain the contract that goes with weddings, thereby being married.

In the end, all marriage begins with a piece of paper. The Yes on 1 campaign has not effectively used clever scare tactics to prove me otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Take a good look at Scandinavian countries like: Norway, Sweden, Denmark most of whom approved gay marriage 20 years ago. Now, 20 years later the family unit is totally broken down and they have the highest cases of non-married families. About 60% of children now born in Denmark have unmarried parents. Statistics also show that although same sex marriages are legal they have only increased marginally in number during the last 20 years. It appears that people were fighting for the right to get married although they didn't really want to get married. The end result it seems is that 'marriage' is no longer special, it has no meaning and no one is getting married. Is this what we want for America and for our children. Why do we think that making the same decision as certain other countries will produce different results. Keep marriage 'special' keep it between a man and a woman so that we can procreate and preserve our legacy. In order not to discriminate we should allow same-sex unions, call it anything you want just don't call it marriage (because it isn't).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Take a good look at Scandinavian countries like: Norway, Sweden, Denmark most of whom approved gay marriage 20 years ago.

You, sir (or mam), are a liar. Norway and Sweden legalized same-sex marriage this year, and IT'S EVEN NOT LEGAL IN DENMARK. (to cover my bases the other scandinavian countries, Iceland and Finland, haven't legalized it either)

Fuck you and your make facts up so you can be right point of view.

p.s. If marriage were about procreation it would be illegal to have a child out of wedlock and those who are infertile wouldn't be allowed to marry.

and other anonymous, the APA changed it's stance to say homosexuality/bisexuality/transexuality is NOT A PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER.

All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.http://www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html#whatabout

 
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