Stunned and angry, national gay rights leaders Wednesday blamed scare-mongering ads — and President Barack Obama's lack of engagement — for a bitter election setback in Maine that could alter the dynamics for both sides in the gay-marriage debate.
UPDATE 5/25/12: Churches raise money to defeat referendum to redefine of marriage
UPDATE 8/20/11: Petition drive begins for same-sex "marriage" referendum on 2012 ballot
-- From "Gay leaders blame TV ads, Obama for loss in Maine" by Lisa Leff & David Crary 11/4/09
Gay activists were frustrated that Obama, who insists he staunchly supports their overall civil rights agenda, didn't speak out forcefully in defense of Maine's marriage law before Tuesday's referendum. The law was repealed in a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent.
"President Obama missed an opportunity to state his position against these discriminatory attacks with the clarity and moral imperative that would have helped in this close fight," said Evan Wolfson of the national advocacy group Freedom to Marry. "The anti-gay forces are throwing millions of dollars into various unsubtle ads aimed at scaring people, so subtle statements from the White House are not enough."
Had Maine's law been upheld by voters, it would have become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to affirm it by popular vote. In Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Iowa, gay marriage resulted from court decisions or legislation.
Some California activists said the outcome in Maine strengthened their belief that it will fall to the U.S. Supreme Court — not the voters — to make gay marriage legal. A federal lawsuit challenging Prop. 8 is scheduled to go to trial in January, the first step in a legal journey that is expected to reach the high court in a few years.
To read the entire article, including the status of same-sex marriage in several other states, CLICK HERE.