Maine Marriage Vote Could Have National Impact

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Voters in Maine have the potential to dramatically impact the nationwide campaign for homosexual marriage as they head to the polls Tuesday.

If residents approve, it will mark the first time in more than 30 contests that voters of a state have given the okay for same-sex marriage.

In the five states where same-sex marriage has been legalized, lawmakers or judges imposed the law.

What impact will Tuesday's vote in Maine have on the entire nation? Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund joined CBN News to answer this question. Click play to see the report followed by his comments.

"The future is in their hands and the weight of history is going to go one way or the other," said professor Chris Potholm of Bowdoin College.

Maine's legislature and its Catholic governor back gay marriage.

"I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't make sure that I did that for all people regardless of their sexual orientation, their backgrounds or their religious beliefs," Gov. John Baldacci said

Big bucks have flowed in from out of state to help finance the gay marriage campaign and its ads.

Backers of traditional marriage are also getting significant donations, like $1.5 million from the National Organization for Marriage-- the group that helped defeat same-sex marriage in California.

"They're good at what they do. They know this issue well," said Brian Soichet of Stand for Marriage Maine. "They are working this issue in a number of other states and areas."

One ad for traditional marriage warns that same sex-marriage will end up being taught in Maine's schools.

"Our son came home and told us the school taught him boys can marry other boys," a father stated in the ad. "This Maine teacher is a gay activist, already pushing this type of agenda. Vote Yes on Question One to prevent homosexual marriage from being pushed on Maine students."

The man in the ad, school counselor Don Mendell, has had an official complaint filed against him for speaking out for traditional marriage.

The pro-family Alliance Defense Fund will defend him in court.

"Your freedom of speech, your right of conscience, your freedom of religion is at stake here," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin Nimocks. "Because if you can't stand up and say marriage is one man, one woman, then what can you stand up and say?  Don Mendell did nothing more than say, 'I believe marriage is one man, one woman,' and he's being persecuted for holding that very simple and foundational belief."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.