Reaction Mixed to Close Vote on Question One 

In a close vote, Mainers approved Question One, rejecting the same sex marriage law the legislature passed earlier this year.53-percent of voters said yes, and 47-percent no, a margin of about 33-thousand votes.Experts had predicted a close race. But while many guessed how it might turn out, no one knew for sure until early Wednesday morning.Those who had predicted high voter turnout would favor the No On One campaign– turned out to be wrong.After a long campaign, both sides watched the returns closely. In the end, it was a tearful defeat for supporters of same-sex marriage.”We have two young boys, seven and four, who were quite…upset this morning. My 7 year old… he couldn’t understand why we lost. Couldn’t understand what to do. ‘You mean, we lost? Why would people treat us differently?'” says Betsy Smith, with Equality Maine.”It’s sad to see that. Certainly any time you see anyone in tears it doesn’t bring any kind of pleasure at all. We just wish there were other ways to deal with some of those issues, so that people wouldn’t have to go through that,” says Rev. Bob Emrich, with Stand for Marriage Maine.University of Maine political science professor, Amy Fried, says some people had looked to Maine as a possible turning point for same-sex marriage.The issue has never won at the ballot box, in any state. “If you look at polling data nationwide, you don’t have a majority of people who support same-sex marriage. But if you take the number of people who support same-sex marriage, and you add the number of people who support civil unions, you do get a majority. I expect that it’s the same in Maine,” Fried says.Supporters of same-sex marriage say they are not quitting their effort, but say it’s too soon to tell what will happen next.”Even if an expansion of domestic partnership, or a civil union bill were to come forward, I think it will probably wait until after the next legislative and gubernatorial elections,” Fried says.Emrich says if the question of same-sex marriage comes up again, they will fight it.”Marriage matters. We think it’s very important to protect the tradition and the institution,” he says. “So if it’s challenged again, like we did this time, we will reluctantly do what we can.”