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Yes on One? Duh

You’ve heard all the arguments, seen all the evidence. Are you really still against same-sex marriage?
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 12, 2012

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It would be awesome if this was the last thing I ever had to write about the gay-marriage debate.

It won't be, of course. We have eight weeks until the election in which Maine voters will decide whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples (a right they voted to take away just three years ago). There will be rallies and press releases, television advertisements and public meetings. Both sides will jockey for their desired answer to the ballot question: Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? If the referendum passes, Maine will be the first state to pro-actively endorse marriage equality at the ballot box.

I'll be there, at those rallies and press conferences, scribbling in my notebook, trying to come up with a interesting way to write about the still-elusive (for some) freedom to marry. But I have to admit, after reporting on this issue for almost 10 years — ever since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that denying marriage rights to gay couples was unconstitutional — I'm kind of over it.

I don't mean to be cavalier. I understand that Mainers have been fighting for this right for decades; that loving couples have lived together for years and years, and built families together, without the legal recognition or label they seek and deserve. I get that every young person, regardless of their sexuality, should have the chance to dream about marrying the person they love. No one dreams of domestic-partnering their one and only.

But I won't deny that I have issue fatigue. Gay or straight or otherwise identified, aren't you tired of hearing the same points rehashed every few years?

All the arguments have been made. There's nothing left to report (except, it seems, the gradual evolution of individuals' positions on the issue). There is nothing new to this debate. It's all been said. All evidence points to an inevitable tipping point, a shift in public perception, and I can only hope that the trend plays out this year at Maine polling places. Because I don't think I can take another round of this, and I know I'm not the only one.

(Even Amelia Nugent, a well- spoken canvasser for Mainers United for Marriage who spoke at Portland's Yes On One rally on Monday, admitted that while the experience of going door-to-door for marriage has been extremely gratifying, she is ready for it to be done already. "It's an emotional roller-coaster for those of us who are personally affected.")

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  Topics: News Features , Civil Rights, Same-Sex Marriage, USA TODAY,  More more >
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