August 10, 2013

Mainers vote to legalize same-sex marriage

'We'll be able to stand before friends and family and make that lifetime commitment we've dreamed about,' said Matt McTighe, campaign manager of Mainers United for Marriage.

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

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Ellie MacCallum, left, of Windham, receives a kiss from her partner, Judy Eycleshymer, right, after they learned same sex marriage had passed while at the Mainers United for Marriage party at the Holiday Inn by the Bay Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Angel Putney of Portland, who said she usually twirls fire, took to twirling a gay pride flag while waiting for election results at the Mainers United for Marriage Campaign party at the Holiday Inn by the Bay Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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Many who voted Tuesday – on both sides – said they were energized by the issue.
"I'm delighted," said Joseph Stackpole, 67, of Old Orchard Beach, who watched the returns alongside Richard Johnson, his partner of 16 years, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough.

Stackpole moved into the hospice Tuesday afternoon following a 17-day stay  at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia – an aggressive and incurable type of cancer.

In an interview late last month with Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz, Stackpole said he'd hoped to live long enough for his and Johnson's marriage, performed in Massachusetts in 2008, to be legally recognized in Maine.

But his condition has deteriorated rapidly since then, he said, and he doesn't expect to still be alive when Maine's same-sex marriage law takes effect in mid-December.

Nevertheless, he said, publicly sharing his and Johnson's story in the days leading up to the vote "feels like my lifetime crowning achievement."

"The people of Maine finally came through," Stackpole said. "My faith in them wasn't in vain."

Staff Writers Ed Murphy, Ann Kim and Gillian Graham contributed to this report, as did columnist Bill Nemitz.

Susan Cover can be reached at 621-5643 or at: scover@mainetoday.com

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Additional Photos

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David Farmer and Miguel Rodriguez of Mainers United for Marriage talk in front of an empty stage on Tuesday at Holiday Inn by the Bay, where an estimated 1,000 supporters were expected to gather for an election night celebration.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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Megan Hutson with Protect Marriage Maine sets up the stage at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston on Tuesday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer


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