As Maine Goes….

Maine became the 31st state to reaffirm via popular vote (and agree with President Obama) that marriage is between a man and a woman. The contrast was really between the coast and the inland/north. A look at the vote breakdown by county reveals that, in the end, the coastal counties of Cumberland (dominated by Portland and surrounding ‘burbs) and Hancock (Bar Harbor, Acadia and various coastal “arts” towns) counties were the only to support gay marriage. Those voting to overturn the legislature-approved gay marriage law held a razor-thin margin in the 3 coastal counties of York, Sagadahoc and Knox, had a bigger margin in Lincoln and Waldo and handily won in Downeast Washington county and all of the internal counties. {There is a more detailed, town by town map here – ed.}
On the other hand, Maine voters approved medical marijuana, rejected a Taxpayer Bill of Rights and rejected a proposal to decrease the excise tax. Mixed message? Not really, if you consider the independent nature of the average Maine voter. Ideology doesn’t fare very well in the Pine Tree state. Some may call it middle-of-the road, or moderate, others pragmatic. On the tax issues, Mainers don’t think you should take away funding vehicles for programs that many have come to depend upon. Whether that dependence is good or bad is a different matter–if the programs are there now, they have to be paid for somehow.
On social issues, Mainers generally have a laissez-faire attitude. You leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. And, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. One would think that would translate into an opposite result on the gay marriage issue. But Mainers really don’t like other people telling them what to do–or changing what things mean out from under them. If you’re going to impose your will on them without asking them first (even if they elected you), they’re not going to like it. That being said, I suspect that if a civil union arrangement similar to that proposed in Referendum 71 in Washington state (note, the same coastal/inland divide) were proposed, it would pass in Maine (and many other places). The word and traditional understanding of marriage still matters, for now.

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12 years ago

So what happens to the gay marriages that were performed legally before yesterday’s vote?
May Mainers who voted on both sides of the issue laugh Ken Starr out of the state if he marches in and tries to overturn legally performed marriages, as was the case after the Calfironia election.

12 years ago

It’s so refreshing when normalcy and tradition win out for a change in this morally and ethically decaying society.
Nice job Maine!

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