Maine Voters Reject Gay Marriage Law

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PORTLAND, Maine -- Residents in Maine have dealt a blow to the gay rights movement, voting to repeal a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the Pine Tree State.

When supporters of traditional marriage heard the news, they cheered and screamed for joy. Their push back against gay marriage in a very liberal state succeeded.

"Even here in a deep blue New England state, even here we can win on the marriage issue, because people care about it," the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown told CBN News.

Why does gay marriage legislation fail when it is put to a vote of the people? Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage joined CBN News to answer that question and more. Click play for her comments following Heather Sells' report.

CBN News also spoke with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who says although this is a victory for traditional marriage, there is still lots of work to be done.  Click here for all of his comments.

The Maine vote has national implications. It has become the 31st state to vote against gay marriage. And Maine has deprived the gay rights movement of a victory at the ballot box.

"We won't quit because of the thousands of Mainers who gave to the volunteer shift, or talked to their neighbor, or told their brother to get off the couch and go pull the lever for "no" on 1," said Jesse Connally, "No on 1" campaign manager.

Tuesday night started off with a party atmosphere for Maine's gay marriage supporters with political heavy weights like the governor showing their support. But by evening's end -- supporters were already mourning their loss.

Winning strategists said their message made the difference.

"The most forceful argument that we repeated again and again was -- this will affect what your children are taught in school," Brown said.

"People said 'Wait a minute -- you're redefining marriage," said the Stand for Marriage campaign's Scott Fish.  "Wait a minute -- what's the compelling reason for doing that?"

Gay rights supporters had worried that another defeat would reinforce the perception that only judges and politicians support their cause. The Maine vote plays into that fear.

"I don't know how they can recover from this," said Frank Schubert, "Yes on 1" campaign manager. "This was the perfect storm for their side -- a very small state, special election, they had an organization that had been building for five years, thousands and thousands of volunteers, millions and millions of dollars -- every state, every gay marriage movement in the nation was focused on Maine," he explained.

While the victory in Maine is a thrill for traditional marriage supporters, the battle over marriage is not over. Lawmakers in New York and New Jersey have special sessions this month to consider the issue.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.