Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Marriage Equality in Maine

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One week ago, voters in Maine chose to legalize same-sex marriage, adding the state to a list of eight others and Washington D.C. This same issue was voted down three years ago, but with a younger crowd beginning to fill up the voting population, this year was different.

This chart from The New York Times gives a comprehensive look into the status of same-sex marriage legislation across the country:

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/11/12/us/1113-SAMESEX.html

The voting results this year were the exact opposite of what they were three years ago in Maine with 53% in favor and 47% against legalization.

Though Maine is certainly considered to be a blue state and therefore more open to the legalization of same-sex marriage, this new development may foreshadow a nationwide movement. As stated before, the amount of young people who can now vote can make a significant difference in the outcome of elections, especially as those people are likely to go out and vote.

Mainers United for Marriage, a marriage equality advocacy group, emphasized the meaning of marriage in their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine, and they succeeded in changing the minds of many voters who previously voted against legalizing same-sex marriage.

This strategy is key. In order to gain the votes of those who held an opposing position previously, it is vital to reframe the issue in order to encourage those voters to reconsider the issue in a new light. Maine campaigners for marriage equality did just that and acheived their goal of change.

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