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Limited National Attention on Question 1

October 9, 2009

If gay marriage is upheld by voters and no one notices–does it still make a sound?  Ok, that was a stretch, but it’s Friday afternoon.

The Washington Post confirms today what I’ve started to notice–few people outside of Maine or the blogosphere seems to be really aware of Question 1 in Maine.

Even as President Obama delivers a high-profile speech about gay rights on Saturday — the eve of a national march for equality on the Mall — Maine’s landmark gay marriage legislation remains practically a secret. With low-volume murmurs of support from the institutional advocates and opponents of gay marriage, Maine’s operatives, on both sides of the issue, are curious to find themselves nearly alone as they contest an election that will determine the national gay-rights agenda…

…The state’s failure to get noticed is due to the simple fact that the vote will not take place in, say, California, where an expensive and bruising win for gay marriage opponents last year shook the national body politic for weeks.

Since then, many dependable gay Democratic fundraisers have felt burned — and decidedly less generous. Plus, progressive lawmakers, worried about the 2010 midterm elections, have shied from the issue. And within the gay leadership in Washington, established politicians and a freshman class of bolder legislators disagree as to whether the Maine campaign should be central to a larger federal push for equality. Those frustrated voices are lobbying Obama to include a reference to the Maine referendum in his speech. Any failure to do so would be the last straw for many gay activists fed up with the small-bore approach of the Obama White House, the Washington-based gay lobby and the Democratic Party’s gay elders.

The Post then goes on to talk about the generational divide in the gay rights movement, exemplifying it by contrasting Barney Frank with Jared Polis.  A fascinating piece, and something that I’m finding increasingly interesting as I read “And the Band Played On.”  More to come on that, I’m sure.

Definitely worth reading the full article.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 9, 2009 8:05 pm

    The lack of attention to this important referendum by the national media is indeed curious. Here’s hoping Maine becomes the first state to approve same-sex marriage by a vote of the people.

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