Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Open Letter to the People of Maine

Dear Compatriots of Maine,

Joyous greetings from New Jersey, the Garden State. Let me congratulate you in advance. When your governor signed the law on May 6, 2009, granting full marriage equality to all citizens of Maine, I and millions of other Americans celebrated. What a triumph of democracy! History books will forever record that Maine was the fifth state in our great nation to recognize the full civil rights of all its citizens, and the second state to do so by legislative action.

Maine's legacy does not end there, however! On November 3, when voters turn out to vote "no" on Question 1, Maine will be the first state in the Union to recognize its citizens' rights of marriage equality by popular referendum. When you stand up and declare, "No, we will not turn on our neighbors, we will not tell them that you may have a right today, but you will not enjoy it tomorrow," then all the world will take notice. To see an entire community reject intolerance and choose freedom will be an inspiring affirmation of our country's founding values. It will remind us all why we are so proud to be Americans.

On that day my wife and I, like millions of parents, will turn to our daughter and say, "See, sweetheart, ordinary people can do great things." And when the whole nation awakens from the dark night of discrimination, and civil rights are enjoyed by all from sea to shining sea, then everyone will say, "Remember Maine. The beacon was first lit there."


Andrew Meyer