Our work to secure & defend marriage equality in Maine

Securing & defending marriage equality in Maine

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been playing a critical role to protect marriage equality in Maine. The marriage equality law, which passed in May, was slated to take effect Sept. 11, but opponents of the law successfully gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot. Check below to see what we've been up to.

Passions are high and the people of Maine are out fighting this:

The Task Force has invested heavily in Maine to both secure and protect the freedom to marry.

What we’re up to

The Task Force Action Fund is working very closely with No on 1/Protect Maine Equality to protect marriage equality in that state. This support includes:

  • Dedicating four full-time organizers to work on the ground in Maine in field for the final month of the campaign; one organizer is serving as the campaign’s field director.
  • Dedicating an additional organizer to work on-the-ground with Maine leaders to spearhead local fundraising. Since mid-August, their local finance committee has raised $400,000 for No on 1.
  • Dedicating our Interactive Media Coordinator to work for one week on the ground with No on 1 to grow their online organizing and social networking capacity.
  • Giving $75,000 in cash contributions to the campaign.
  • Recruited a team of 45 leaders from around the country to take Volunteer Vacations to work in the No on 1 campaign; for four weeks, waves of volunteer leaders worked full-time, unpaid, on-the-ground in Maine to campaign with voters in the final days leading to election day.

  • Convened the National Religious Leadership Roundtable’s fall action in Maine; national pro-LGBT faith leaders participated in two days of faith-based actions to campaign against the People’s Veto.

What we’ve been doing

Prior to July 2009, the Task Force Foundation:

  • Organized the Maine LGBT Power Summit (April 2009), which brought together 140 leaders across the country for training in campaign fundamentals. Maine participants immediately put the skills to use during the three final weeks of organizing to pass a marriage bill. Watch this video snippet from the April Power Summit:

  • Gave more than $70,000 between 2003 and 2008 to launch and grow EqualityMaine’s first-ever voter identification project, which enabled EqualityMaine to hire its first statewide organizer and begin identifying voters in support of the freedom to marry.
  • Trained Maine leaders in core organizing fundamentals at past Power Summits between 2004 and 2005.

The Task Force Action Fund has:

  • Sent two organizers to work on the ground in Maine in February 2009 to launch EqualityMaine’s grassroots lobbying campaign. Following the April Power Summit, Task Force organizers remained in Maine to provide additional field support in the final days leading up to the final vote on the marriage bill.
  • Provided $40,000 to EqualityMaine in seed money in 2009 to hire nine field organizers.
  • Dedicated a Task Force organizer to work full time for the No on 1 campaign in 2005, which successfully defeated a referendum that would have repealed its statewide anti-discrimination law.
  • Gave $90,000 to the No on 1 campaign in 2005.

Task Force Senior Field Organizer Moof Mayeda leads a workshop
at the 2009 Maine Power Summit.

Learn more

Learn more about efforts to protect marriage equality in Maine by visiting No on 1/ Protect Maine Web site.

Check out some media coverage of the Task Force's work in Maine here and here.

Media inquires

Please direct media inquiries about the Task Force’s work in Maine to Inga Sarda-Sorensen at 646.358.1463, isorensen@theTaskForce.org, or to Pedro Julio Serrano, 646.358.1479, pjserrano@theTaskForce.org.

Stay on top of the efforts in Maine

Follow the Task Force on Twitter; follow No on 1/ Protect Maine Equality on Twitter.