Oh, how sweet it is to read the whining of my homosexual friends & acquaintances about Maine voting down gay marriage. This is the worst day in the history of the state of Maine. Let me start by saying I support the right for homosexuals to form legally recognized unions, get divorced, have child custody battles, and pay alimony. I can't wait to go to a gay wedding, hear a gay man complain about how his boyfriend won't propose, or congratulate my lesbian friend on her 5th marriage (she's been engaged 3 times already). It's the libertarian in me that believes in the rights between consenting adults to form contracts. I'm also open to the idea that polygamy-bigamy of consenting adults should be allowed as long as spouses are registered & contracts are drawn up to divide the estate in the event of the death for the minority piece of the partnership (the hypotenuse in the triangle). If you will be open to allowing that special contract to be between nontraditional actors, you must be ready for the unintended consequences (that Mormons & Muslims will love).
Throughout history, marriage was, and still is, a preservation of wealth and vehicle for having children. It is a contract between two people, and back when they were arranged in all cultures, between two families. In modern times in the western world, we have made marriage into a wonderful status for a romantic relationship. Let me stop laughing a second. After watching Mad Men's episode where Betty consulted a lawyer about divorce, I think no fault divorce is a good idea despite its overuse. Regardless, the gay community and their friends will live to fight another day. More old people will die, which means a better chance of pro-gay marriage legislation and results occurring.
There is of course the dirty side of this election result. As in California where the gay community protested (and were bigots towards) blacks, Mormons and Catholics after Pro 8 lost, my friends on Facebook are already calling this the saddest day in the history of the world and lashing out. It is as if their dogs died & Sept 11th happened, and a combination of N@zi-Islamo terrorists did it. I'm a little bummed out, but as I typed last night, I was much more depressed by Mainers voting down TABOR & approving a $70 mil bond issuance. It is not wise to mock and 'yell' at the voters you hope to switch to your side. It is wrong to call them all morons and bigots. People hear names like that and don't switch to voting on your side. What if they just don't agree with your side? What if they feel the domestic partnership laws do offer the same legal protection as marriage for hetero couples and no further law is required to grant gays even more clear cut equality. The single best ad of that campaign was supporting a yes vote and showed how gay couples under Maine DP law get the same protection under state law as a married straight couple. It made some people I know go "If they get the same treatment, then what is this all about then?" Legit question.
Along those lines, I also severely dislike the asshats who compare this struggle for gays to have the right to divorce on par with MLK & the civil rights struggle or Gandhi's work for India's autonomy. Let's slow down a bit. Gandhi knew the British Empire because he had worked in its admin (in South Africa), knew what he was up against (a dying empire), and took huge risks in the face of a reluctant foe for his people to have self government. MLK faced down dogs, fire hoses, the KKK, and a legal system in the South set against him. Maine's 'No on Question 1' supporters had better fundraising, spent more money, could call the other side bigots at will, had the press on their side, were in a BLUE state that several questions down passed things in a normal liberal voter manner, and still could not win. Maybe they have to change their tactics. Maybe they should try the civil union route. Maybe they didn't think that voters might be voting in protest of the legislature imposing something on them. Maine voters are funny, and oftentimes will vote to repeal a law from the state house only to pass it through referendum later. This happened with adding sexual orientation to the affirmative action language.
It's probably just being a man, but a wedding day is a public recognition of how you feel. This used to be a community and church thing before the government stuck their nose into marriage with the miscegenation rules of the Old South. That is the origin of marriage licenses. Suddenly, the government is involved and then laws come into play. Then the govt has another piece of candy or a stick to use against or for groups. With how many couples nowadays get married by justices of the peace in semi-pagan ceremonies (myself included), does it truly matter to have the government give you the thumbs up when the state already has domestic partnership laws that would grant the same rights as a married couple? I didn't gain anything from the govt giving the OK to my marriage besides a right to not testify in court against my spouse and then the other rights (orderly divorce & estate splitting). I keep bringing this up because there is no gift bag of benefits from being married except for when you leave that marriage. An orderly division of assets is a HUGE boon. My wife & I the minute before and then the minute after our ceremony saw no change in our life. It was a confirmation of how we felt then, and I wish more people looked at it that way. It would probably spare many more of us from $30,000 wedding pageants.
In conclusion, to my gay peoples out there: it is not the end of the world, wait for the next referendum, work harder, plan better, campaign better, and know that the sun will still come up tomorrow.