The first television ads in support of
gay marriage in Maine began airing Thursday.
The sixty-second ad called “Together”
is being paid for by EqualityMaine Foundation, Gay & Lesbian
Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Maine Civil Liberties Union
“We've been talking with Mainers for
three years about our state's gay and lesbian families,” said Betsy
Smith, Executive Director of EqualityMaine Foundation, in a
statement. “We're simply taking that conversation and going
directly into Maine kitchens and living rooms where families most
often have these discussions.”
Maine's Legislature passed and Governor
John Baldacci signed into law the gay marriage bill over the
objections of the Catholic Church in May. The law was scheduled to
take effect on September 12 but was put on hold when foes turned in
sufficient signatures to force a “people's veto.”
Opponents of the law organized into the
Stand for Marriage Maine coalition, which includes the National
Organization for Marriage, the nation's most vociferous opponent of
gay marriage, and the Catholic Diocese of Portland.
“Together” tightly hones a message
of Maine values by splicing together testimony from Maine parents and
children – some gay, and some straight.
“Something happens when you cross the
border into this state. … There's just something about Maine that
makes it different.”
“It's the people,” Erik Anderson of
“Maine ways,” Sara Jane Elliott of
“You know in Maine no one tells
anyone else how to live,” Dan Lawson of Monroe says.
“We don't make one set of rules for
some and another set for others. That's why everyone should be able
to marry the person they love,” the Johnston Family of Cape
“Here in Maine, together we can
protect equality,” everyone says.
“This ad captures the tenor and tone
of what we hear over and over again from Mainers about marriage
equality,” Shenna Bellows, executive director of MCLU, said in a
statement. “More and more people understand that in Maine, we
believe that all families should be treated equally and that people
should simply be able to marry the person they love.”