Whether this fight is our turning point, or the next, or even one years from now we need to keep focused on the fact that all people should be equal in the eyes of our government. That means that all of us deserve to be judged by our actions and intent, not by who we love. There are many untruths spread against minorities like the GLBT community in an attempt to keep those minorities down, but I find hope that at least in Maine there are people who are above allowing these lies to be sold as the truth. When David Parker went in person to testify in front of the Maine legislative committee hearings this May on same sex marriage he brought with him his version of the events that led to his stand. "Mainers", as they call themselves, brought the book he referred to and read from it the harmlessness of it's message and disarmed his hate with their laughter. I learned that Mainers are far more savvy than I had given them credit for after canvassing with Protect Maine Equality in conjunction with MassEquality and Join the Impact MA last Saturday.
If we are going to win this fight we have to have every voice that cares speaking to everyone they know and visiting all the places where they an reach others. We all need to work together on this and put aside any differences we may have had in the past for the greater good of equality for all. If we can win in Maine it serves as a significant turning point in the struggle for GLBT rights not only in Maine but across the country and around the world. It shows we are able to take our fight first to the courts and win on the basis of what's just according to the letter of the law. It shows that we can influence legislators to stand up for what's right without fear of compromising their office or electability. If we win this vote in Maine it shows we have taken our message directly to the people and that people are starting to listen to what's said and check the facts for themselves, making up their own minds. It shows that fear is no longer enough of a motivator to deny what's fair and right, and it shows that people are no longer afraid to stand up for their neighbors. Courage made America great, and that courage seems in the air again.
If you live anywhere in New England please consider putting your money back in your pocket and donate something infinitely more valuable, your time. If you can't get there in person call Protect Maine Equality and ask them what you can do to help, there is work for everyone no matter what your ability. Every second between now and November 3 when the polls close matters. Your help will make difference whether we win or not because you'll know you can be proud that you at least tried. The value of that experience is difficult to put in words but it has changed my life radically for the better, and everyone I know who volunteered has said the same in different ways.
By John Hosty-Grinnell