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August 20, 2009

“Together” Highlights Broad Support for Maine Marriage Equality

Public Education Ad Released Today

A 60-second television spot began running statewide today, highlighting the core values of community and fairness which are the underpinnings of the broad support for marriage equality in Maine. The ad is funded by EqualityMaine Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation (MCLU).

In the spot, parents and children, gay and straight, talk about Maine’s values of fairness, respect, and strong families.  “You know, in Maine, no one tells anyone else how to live,” says Dan Lawson of Monroe.  Alexander Johnston of Cape Elizabeth, who appears along with his wife and two daughters says, “Everyone should be able to marry the person they love.” 

Other Mainers expressing their support for marriage equality include a waitress, a firefighter, and a lobsterman, as well as same-sex couples, some of whom appear with their children. The ad can be viewed at www.youtube.com/GLADVideo, as well as at www.glad.orgwww.youtube.com/user/EqualityMaine and www.mclu.org.

EqualityMaine Foundation, GLAD and MCLU have been working on a three-year public education initiative supporting marriage equality and what marriage means for Maine’s gay and lesbian couples and their children.

“We’ve been talking with Mainers for three years about our state’s gay and lesbian families,” said Betsy Smith, Executive Director of EqualityMaine Foundation. “We’re simply taking that conversation and going directly into Maine kitchens and living rooms where families most often have these discussions.”

“There’s a lot of understanding in Maine that gay and lesbian families need the protections that only marriage provides,” said Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director, who lives in Portland.  “We see this real sense of fairness all across the state.”

“This ad captures the tenor and tone of what we hear over and over again from Mainers about marriage equality,” said Shenna Bellows, executive director of MCLU.  “More and more people understand that in Maine, we believe that all families should be treated equally and that people should simply be able to marry the person they love.”

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Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.