The Anti-Anti-Gay Rights Campaign
Equal rights groups are attempting to stop the "people's veto" referendum campaign before it gets going.
Pat Peard of Maine Won't Discriminate, which supports the anti-discrimination law, said volunteers will start fanning out in the next 10 to 14 days. They will use house parties, meetings and other unspecified forms of "outreach" to try to convince voters that the law is a good one and should stay on the books.
Good this needs to be done and done quickly. The two pillars of the Christian Civic League are their grassroots organization and their ability to control the debate. To win, the first thing those opposed to discrimination must do is begin to build a stronger grassroots network. The second is make sure that the discussion stays firmly on the topic of the actual legislation and the discrimination it will end rather than the League's gay marriage straw man.
I've been on a bit of a map kick lately, so here's a county-by-county look at the 2000 gay rights referendum election (click to enlarge). Green counties voted for the bill and purple against it. The vote totals are from the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions and the county data is from the Maine Geographic Information System (don't you love when government uses the internet effectively). The darker colors represent counties that voted for one side by more than 55%. The vote was close in almost every county and the referendum lost statewide by only about 4,000 votes.
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