In 19 days we will know whether we beat back NOM and the Catholic Dioceses and protected marriage equality for Mainers, or took yet another step backwards at the ballot box for equality. 30 states have had votes on marriage equality since 1998 and the right-win has won in all 30 of them. We are going to stop that streak in Maine, but we can't do it without the resources to fuel a massive get-out-the-vote operation.
Today at midnight is the last major financial reporting deadline and it also marks the first day of early voting. If you were planning on giving to No on 1 and haven't yet, or have the resources to give again, today is the day to do it. Luckily, we at Blue America have a little sweetener, courtesy of Howie:
Meanwhile we have something nice to offer to donors today. The first 9 people who kick in at least $30 at the Blue America '10 page each wins a special DVD of Barbra Streisand's spectacular 1966 television special Color Me Barbra (which includes a rare poster). And if that wasn't fabulous enough, we also have something pretty mind-blowing for the person who donates the most by 6AM (PT) tomorrow. The picture is above. It's a gorgeous Joan Osborne RIAA custom double platinum award for both Relish and "One of Us." It's rare, collectible, unique and... well, what a gift it would make for anyone who you happen to know who went bonkers over the song below! And, more important, what an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Maine!
I take you back to 1997 when, after nine attempts spanning 20 years, the Maine legislature finally passed a basic civil rights bill preventing discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation. Governor Angus King signed it. The law was put on hold while the religious conservatives---trying to marginalize our very existence by denying us any official state recognition---launched a war to repeal it by a citizens veto referendum, very similar to the kind they're waging now. They got the signatures they needed and the fight to take away our newly-won civil rights was on.
The polls had our side up by several points. The result? The 1998 referendum passed. The fundies won. The final vote: 51.9% to 48.1%. It's one thing to feel disappointment when your favorite candidate loses. It's quite another when you are the one being voted on by your neighbors, and a majority of them agree that, yes, it should be legal for a Maine business owner to pull you aside and say, "I don’t want no faggots workin' here. You're fired." It took another seven years to finally make that against the law. To this day I still get a knot in my gut when I think about what happened 11 years ago.
The only way we stop this from happening again is to make sure that we can get our voters out to the polls. The No on 1 campaign needs your help to make sure they have the resources to execute their field plan. So give today and maybe take home a platinum Joan Osborne album, or a rare Barbara Streisand poster and DVD.
The Courage Campaign is sending me back to Maine in a week or so. Expect more reports from on the ground there on how your generous donations are being spent. I was there a couple weeks ago and can assure you, the campaign is a tightly run ship, simultaneously on the offense and firing back at the lies spewed from the other side. No on 1 is IDing and turning out their voters, relying on thousands of in state volunteers and assisted by out of state phone bankers from around the country. They know how to win in Maine "and can do it with your help.