no on 1

The Maine campaign to end marriage inequality reached as far across the country as it could on Tuesday night and urged San Francisco residents to support its efforts to defeat a state measure to end marriage equality.

Advocates and politicians gathered on the second floor of the Mission District’s Medjool, mojitos and hummus in hand, to raise money for the No on Question 1 ad campaign.

The event was organized by Beyond Chron editor Paul Hogarth, who will be returning to Maine tomorrow to continue working against Question 1 in the state of just over a million, or as State Senator Mark Leno described Maine’s size, “not much more than the city and county of San Francisco.”

Unlike Prop 8, there was a strong sense of victory in the air, in part because campaign contributions are relatively high and in part because of the size and population of Maine.

Maine’s same-sex marriage proposition came after the state legislature passed the marriage equality and religious freedom bill last May. Since then, Hogarth said, religious groups have contributed more than $2 million to the same sex campaign and run scare tactic ads depicting children who’ve been “taught” gay marriage in school.

The three main groups, as recently reported by NPR, are the National Organization for Marriage, under scrutiny from the Maine Ethics Commission, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, and Focus on the Family.

Nevertheless, the No on 1 campaign is ahead, with $4 million in contributions. Groups like Maine Catholics for Marriage Equality have done outreach and worked to counteract stereotypes that all Catholics are against marriage equality.

“People have come out of the woodworks,” said Hogarth to the small crowd. Out fighting the dark arts, he said, was the Harry Potter Alliance, which has been doing voter outreach.

Leno said “every door will be knocked” in the time leading up to Election Day.

“This can be the precursor to us overturning Prop 8,” he added. “We have six states—we have to hold onto those six and expand.”

Assembly member Tom Ammiano contributed $1,000. The former District 9 supervisor seemed confident of victory but still encouraged people to give more to the campaign.

“This is an issue the mainstream doesn’t care much about,” he said. “I would rather have indifference than articulated opposition.”

“We are a resilient community, even after defeat,” he continued. “It really puzzles our opponents.”

Other city representatives present were City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Paul Henderson, chief administrator for the district attorney’s office.

Phone Banking against Question 1 this weekend will occur Saturday and Sunday from 11-3 pm at the Equality California office (2370 Market Street).