One last money push for Maine: A message on why marriage matters

Goal ThermometerWe’ve been writing about the campaign to save Maine’s new marriage law for months. For the past couple days, along with other progressive and LGBT bloggers, we’ve been making one final push to raise money for No on 1. Our goal was to hit $1.1 million on ActBlue by 11:59 PM tonight. We hit that goal — and are now aiming for $1.25 million.

Our last pitch for contributions to Maine’s No on 1 campaign comes from Steve Kleinedler, who lost his husband, Peter Dubuque, earlier this year. Peter learned first-hand what marriage means and how ordinary it had become in his home state of Massachusetts.

From Steve:

Earlier this spring, I wrote this essay, which discussed my interactions with people when dealing with all aspects of the death of my husband Peter. He and I had been together for almost 15 years.

This Friday, October 16, would have been our fifth wedding anniversary. On that day, I will go up north to scatter his ashes in the wilderness that he loved; I will get to hold him one final time, something I have not been able to do for the past six-and-a-half months.

In the ongoing struggle for marriage equality, which is being put to the test this November in Maine, it’s important to reflect on how the sky never fell in Massachusetts in 2004. Of course, we knew it wouldn’t; what’s important is that other people now see that as well. All of the scenarios that the fearmongers threw up proved to be exactly what they were — smokescreens, and hateful ones at that. Lesbians and gays were granted marriage equality, and the social order in Massachusetts did not collapse.

Winning the election in Maine in November is crucial for our momentum. A win for marriage equality, while of course obviously very important to the citizens of Maine, will reverberate across the country.

I have been fortunate to meet Massachusetts state legislators, lawyers, and advocates who were instrumental in bringing marriage equality to the Bay State. I have also met some of their Maine counterparts. It is so crucial that as we approach Election Day, that they be given the financial resources necessary for us to win in November.

In Peter’s death, I learned just how crucial marriage rights are. I am very fortunate to live in Massachusetts. Together, we can achieve equality across the country, state by state. Please consider making a donation to No on 1. If you’ve already done so, please consider forwarding this essay to your friends. How many of your well-wishing heterosexual counterparts expressed disappointment last November after the California decision? Remind them they have a real chance to help make a real difference in Maine.

Marriage equality matters.

Thanks to Steve for sharing this with us. We can win in Maine. With your help, we will.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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