Disgust. Disappointment. Blame. After news outlets reported early Wednesday morning that a majority of Mainers had voted "Yes" on Question 1, consequently vetoing the law allowing same-sex marriage, our own outlets of communication were flooded with emotional reactions to the news. Liberal-minded students were not just faced with coping with their own distress—they were also coping with outrage from others across the country. Through the many Facebook and Twitter posts that appeared—ranging from those condemning the ignorance of Mainers to others encouraging Maine to secede from the nation—it became clear that the eyes of the country had been on Maine, and that we had failed them.
While 52.8 percent of Mainers voted "Yes" on Question 1, 48.2 percent did not—a difference representing approximately 31,000 voters. Though the ballots of those 31,000 resulted in a defeat denying same-sex marriage, the margin of difference between those who voted "Yes" and those who voted "No" is slim relative to the approximately 567,000 people who voted in Maine. The truth is that approximately half of Maine supported a law allowing same-sex marriage, and approximately half did not. In the disappointment following the tallied results, this fact has been forgotten: many Mainers, Bowdoin students included, support gay marriage. Many support it passionately.
Though the fight for equality has suffered a blow, the people who spent months campaigning in support of same-sex marriage, the people who turned out at polls to vote "No" on 1, and the people whose lives this decision directly impacts have not disappeared just because of an unfavorable vote. It hardly needs to be said—we are still committed to seeing marriage equality not just in our lifetime, but soon.