By Ramona du Houx
September 6, 2012
Momentum continues to grow for Mainers United for Marriage. The coalition working for a “Yes” vote on Question 1 in November has grown to 100 members.
“As we prepare to launch our ‘Yes on 1’ campaign next week, momentum continues to grow for the effort to allow all loving, committed couples in Maine to marry,” said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage. “More and more groups – including small businesses, faith leaders and civic organizations – have decided to stand for the freedom to marry. We’re thankful for all of their support as we begin the final push toward November.”
The Maine College of Art is one of the new additions to the coalition, and the first institution of higher education in Maine to support the initiative.
“Maine College of Art is proud to stand behind Mainers United for Marriage as a coalition member,” said Donald Tuski, the school’s president. “We made the decision to institutionally support this initiative because embracing diversity and equity is central to our core values. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will help foster the healthy and accepting living and learning environment that we value at MECA.”
The Board of the Maine Nurse Practitioners Association is also a new member of the coalition, joining other organizations such as the Maine State Nurses Association, the Maine chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Maine Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, Maine chapter.
“In the United States, the institution of marriage carries with it many benefits, including numerous social, economic and legal rights and responsibilities. As nurse practitioners, we are trained to consider our patients from a holistic perspective and to incorporate the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of their health into their care,” said Sandra Hayes, president of the Board of Maine Nurse Practitioners. “We feel that denying the freedom to marry for same-sex couples has a negative impact on the health of individuals, families and communities.”
Other recent additions to the coalition include: the Machias UCC church, New Beginnings, a homeless youth service organization in Lewiston, the Southern Maine Labor Council, Maine Veterans for Peace and Consumers for Affordable Health Care.
Republicans United for Marriage, a group that includes prominent leaders in the Republican Party, has also created a Facebook page, Maine Republicans for Marriage Equality: http://www.facebook.com/MaineRepublicansForEqualMarriage
The campaign will hold a rally at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, at Portland City Hall to formally kick off the Yes on 1 campaign. More than 200 people are expected for the event, which will be followed by a kick-off parties at offices around the state, volunteer phone banking and canvassing that afternoon and evening.
In addition, the campaign is planning a Weekend of Action for Sept. 15-16 and 50 congregations around the state will hold services or activities supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
Mainers United for Marriage is the coalition to win marriage for all Maine families. A “Yes” vote on Question 1 in November will allow marriage licenses for loving, committed same-sex couples in Maine while also protecting religious freedom.
For more information about the campaign, visit http://www.mainersunited.org.