Gay marriage loses in Maine: the campaign finance scorecard

On Nov. 3, 299,483 citizens of the state of Maine were persuaded to tell women who love women and men who love men that they cannot marry. Those Downeasters who voted “Yes” on Question 1 — to repeal a same-sex marriage law — bashed gays, but with a referendum rather than a fist.

Those 267,574 people who voted “no” — which would approve the same-sex marriage law — were not dissuaded by an anti-gay coalition of conservatives and churches wielding more than $3 million, including more than $2 million from out-of-state donors, according to a report by the National Institute On Money In State Politics.

Much of the sparring over the referendum was funded on both sides by groups outside the state of Maine. Given that gay marriage has been a wedge issue for years, that’s hardly surprising. But in Maine?
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Happy Birthday to The Commonwealth: could this be Britain's future?

I was surprised to learn that 2009 is the 60th anniversary of The Commonwealth—the association of former British colonies that still, amazingly, continue to work with each and talk to each other on a variety of issues. This would be a cause for celebration, one would think. And it appears there have been some. But I only learned about it when we visited Marlborough House, which is where the Commonwealth members meet from time to time to have their pictures taken, and who knows what else. It’s actually difficult to know, because the UK government has made no effort to publicise this event, which one would think would be a cause for celebration. The entertaining but not hugely informative Commonwealth website is here–there’s certainly a lot of stuff going on.
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