Ways to Break the Dead Heat Over Gay Marriage in Maine

Polls show Tuesday's vote on gay marriage in Maine is a dead heat. Could Obama tip the scales?

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The gay rights movement has a major challenge ahead in Tuesday's election, when Maine will vote on a ballot initiative on whether to ban or allow gay marriage. The most recent poll shows 48% plan to vote in support of gay marriage, 47% in opposition, with 5% uncertain. Given that this is an off-year election, turnout will be a decisive factor. Organizing groups on both sides, which have been flooding the state with ads, are expected to launch statewide get-out-the-vote efforts. Will the White House, which today announced a landmark gay rights decision to close the HIV travel ban, get involved? It has so far seemed hesitant.

  • Obama, Go to Maine  The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan wants President Obama to make a push. "Obama could make the difference," he writes. "A poll this close indicates a loss for marriage equality. Now check out Obama's 67 percent favorables in the state. He has a chance to help." Mother Jones's Kevin Drum agrees. "I understand his reluctance to address hot button cultural issues until he gets most of his legislative agenda through Congress this year, but justice is justice. He ought to speak up on this."
  • Lessons From California  Kevin Drum looks at the anti-gay-marriage ads and wonders if they could reproduce the fear-based success of similar ads in last year's California referendum to ban gay marriage. "Reminds me of California 11 months ago: generally bright and positive from the pro side, dark and fearmongering from the anti side.  Note especially the almost comically menacing musing from the anti folks. Of course, as we all know, fear sells: the anti side won in California. But not by much!"
  • Will Gay Marriage Be 'Taught' In Schools?  That's the fear being pushed by some ads and by Townhall's Sandy Rios, among others. Rios writes, "Homosexual activists want your children in every way. In order to achieve that, it is necessary to mainstream homosexuality so that anyone opposing it is severely ostracized or punished as a result." Most are, for good reason, not taking the fears seriously. But Wonkette's Jim Newell can't resist:
"Gay marriage will be taught in schools unless we vote Yes on Question 1," the insane person tells us. Do they "teach" straight marriage now? When we were in grade school, all the teaching was about multiplication and reading and George Washington and whatever. Now everyone just learns to be gay and to sext each other and to compare and contrast iPhones and Palm Pres.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.