Maine is the first state in the country to pass marriage equality by popular referendum. However, it took Republican Sen. Susan Collins until now (an election year) to support what was decided two years ago by a majority of her constituents.

More than 3,000 people gathered in Portland last month to watch the Southern Maine Pride Parade, celebrating Maine’s and this country’s progress in protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Democrat Shenna Bellows marched in the parade. Her Republican opponent, Susan Collins, chose not to participate.

We need change in Washington; we need representation that is not stuck in the mindset of yesteryear. As head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Shenna helped lead the fight to pass marriage equality.

She is an energetic member of a new generation of public servants. Don’t miss the opportunity to vote for Shenna in November.

Linda Hjortland