In a closely watched ballot on Nov. 3, voters in Maine rejected the law legalizing gay marriage that had been signed by Governor John Baldacci on May 6.
The president of the conservative group Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, praised the 53 percent to 47 percent result, saying it expressed a disapproval of the policies of the Democratic-led legislature "who failed to protect the rights of families and children by refusing to protect the institution of marriage."
However, same-sex marriage advocates have described the vote’s outcome as "a setback for all of us," in the words of Elbridge James, director of the Maryland Black Family Alliance, which is an advocacy organization of straight African-Americans.
In addition, Betsy Smith, executive director of Equality Maine, stressed the vote was "about treating gay and lesbian families with dignity and respect under Maine law," and expressed her disappointment that Maine voters "chose not to do that, [and it is] difficult mostly because of the families who today continue to go unprotected," quoted by South Florida Blade.
Meanwhile, Governor Baldacci suggested the issue will be revisited as he vowed to continue to work to ensure that all Maine residents are treated equally.