Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement on two upcoming referenda in the states of Maine and Washington that call into question recently passed pro-equality legislation.
"We must not let the pages of history turn backwards on equality for all Americans by allowing Proposition 1 and Referendum 71 to strip our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) family and friends of their hard-fought rights," said Hastings.
On November 3, 2009, Maine Proposition 1 and Washington Referendum 71 will be up for vote. A vote of "no" on Proposition 1 affirms Maine's new law allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses and a vote of "yes" repeals it. Referendum 71 asks voters to "approve" or "reject" the "everything but marriage" law, which expands domestic partnership rights in the State of Washington to equal state-level marriage rights without calling it marriage. Both laws were passed last May by the legislature, and signed by the governor, of each respective state.
"Tomorrow, I urge voters in Maine to vote no' on Proposition 1 and voters in Washington to vote yes' on Referendum 71. It is truly outrageous that, in 2009, equal rights are still being denied to any community of people in this country. GLBTQ equality is American equality, and you either mean equality for all' or you don't."
The "No on 1" campaign is supported by Maine newspapers Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald, the Equality Maine group and political action committee, the Human Rights Campaign, and Maine Businesspeople for Marriage Equality. The "Approve 71" campaign is supported by over 270 organizations, including Washington State Democrats, Mainstream Republicans of Washington, the Washington Association of Churches, and such industry giants as Boeing, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Puget Sound Energy, and Vulcan Inc.