Same-sex marriage rally floods Belfast streets with supporters

By Ben Holbrook | Nov 05, 2012
Photo by: Ben Holbrook Supporters of same-sex marriage gathered on all four corners of the intersection of Main and High Street to chant and wave signs at pedestrians and vehicles Sunday, Nov. 4.

Belfast — Supporters of same-sex marriage flooded the intersection of Main and High Street in Belfast Sunday, Nov. 4, to voice their support by waving signs and chanting at passing pedestrians and vehicles.

Speaking above the chants of “Yes on One” and the honking of car horns, Event Organizer Nicholas Cullen of Swanville said the supporters, who are not affiliated with the Mainers United for Marriage political group, gathered in Belfast to encourage people to get out and vote Nov. 6.

“This is an issue that means a lot to me,” he said. “This is the civil rights issue of our time.”

Cullen said he belived the issue of same-sex marriage should not be a partisan issue and that people should come together to support equal rights for all.

Despite the fact the issue of same-sex marriage can be divisive at times, Cullen said the rallies have drawn strong support and negative reactions have not been an issue.

“There has been absolutely nothing negative. I think it says a lot about the way this campaign was run,” he said.

Like Cullen, Belfast resident April Thibodeau said the issue of same-sex marriage is an important one and is mainly a civil rights driven initiative. Thibodeau said religious beliefs should not be brought into government, drawing attention to her sign which read “Separation of Church and State + Equality = Marriage for All.”

“I’m here to support my friends and this cause,” Thibodeau said.

Fellow rally-goers voiced similar sentiments to those expressed by Cullen and Thibodeau with the issue of equal rights being the most common explanation for why people support same-sex marriage.

“It’s an important human rights issue. Everybody should have the right to get married if they want to,” Sonya Weaver of Belmont said.

Judith Harrison of Belmont agreed with Weaver and said the issue of same-sex marriage has been a long time coming.

“It’s time,” Harrison said. “It’s time to vote ‘yes’ on Tuesday.”

Belfast resident Andrea Boothby said she supports equal rights for everyone and believed that the love between a couple is what is most important.

“I believe in the power of love. As an institution, love is a good foundation to build on,” Boothby said.

Following the rally, supporters made their way to the Belfast Public Library to staff a phone bank from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This year's ballot question is the second time Maine voters are being asked to consider legalizing same-sex marriage. In 2009, the Maine legislature legalized same-sex marriage, but voters overturned the law 53 percent to 47 percent through a people's veto vote in November of that year.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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