Monday, March 10, 2014
An Associated Press story we ran Thursday raises the question of whether gay-marriage campaigns across the county have shied away from using gay people in their ads.
The story, with a Minneapolis dateline, says "gay people speaking for themselves" are missing from the airwaves in the four states that will vote on gay marriage this year (Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington). It quotes a fund-raising consultant who says that the "tough guys we need to flip" may still "say that gays are gross."
What's happened in Maine?
So far, Mainers United for Marriage has run two ads. One features a straight pastor and his wife expressing support and the other shows a group of volunteer firefighters, including one who identifies himself as gay, saying they too will vote "yes" on Question 1.
In addition, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders have run two ads, including one that features a lesbian couple sitting at a family dinner table. A WW II veteran who is the father of one of the women says he supports gay marriage. The other ad shows a straight couple talking about their support for gay marriage because they have a gay son.
In Maine, it appears the ads are 50/50 when it comes to showing openly gay people. With more ads on the way -- including the first ads from opponents which are scheduled to air in early October -- it will be interesting to see how both campaigns try to influence voters as we barrel toward Nov. 6.
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or email@example.com
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or email@example.com