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Maine voters repeal law allowing gay marriage (Updated)

November 3, 2009 |  7:35 pm

 Yes on 1 

(UPDATE: 12:52 a.m. Pacific Wednesday: Opponents of Maine’s law allowing same-sex marriage succeeded Tuesday night in their repeal effort, following a heated campaign that polarized the state and drew national attention.

With 87% of the 605 precincts reporting, the Associated Press said, opponents of same sex marriage led with 53% of the vote to 47% seeking to uphold the law. If the law is repealed, Maine will join more than 30 other states that have rejected gay and lesbian marriage at the ballot box.)

It looks like it’s going to be a long night in Maine, where results are just beginning to trickle in on the state referendum that would repeal a state law permitting same-sex marriage. So far, with about 28% of 605 precincts reporting, the results show a virtual dead heat. That's not surprising -- both sides have long predicted a close contest.

This evening our colleague Bob Drogin went to a celebration party for those against same-sex marriage, reporting that “about two dozen people looking very dejected sat quietly at mostly empty tables.”

Then, says Drogin, it was off to a gay rights party which “has several thousand people packed into a ballroom and cheering one another.”

"It's early yet, but I'm very encouraged by the results we're seeing so far," Gov. John Baldacci, who staunchly backed the gay marriage law, told the ebullient pro-gay-marriage party. Everyone cheered.

The mood was far less optimistic in the other ballroom. "Regardless of the outcome tonight, we fought the good fight," Marc Mutty, chairman of the pro-repeal coalition, told the small gathering. "We have nothing to be ashamed of." That comment, however, came after earlier returns showed the repeal effort behind.

The night, clearly, is young, so stay tuned to for further reports on the battle over gay rights in Maine.

No on 1

-- Steve Padilla

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Top photo: Supporter of measure to overturn a law allowing gay marriage. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Pro-gay-marriage supporters. Credit: Associated Press.