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Yesterday voters repealed a state law passed in May that legalized gay marriage in Maine. With 53 percent opposed to the law, Maine now has the dubious honor of joining 30 other states in which gay marriage has lost when put to a popular vote. As the news broke early this morning, acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner offered this exclusive comment to Out:
The news from Maine doesn’t make me depressed, but it does make me angry. I’m angry that bigots, cretins and theocrats get to vote on whether or not their fellow citizens are entitled to equality under the law. Our basic right to equal treatment is guaranteed by the US Constitution and should not be subject to state referendums. I’m angry that the Catholic Church and the Mormons, tax exempt under the increasingly laughable pretext that they have something to do with God, pump millions upon millions of dollars into this wicked campaign to promote bigotry and perpetuate human suffering, while supporters of LGBT equality pay taxes for the privilege of continuing to be not-fully enfranchised sub-citizens. I’m very angry that we’re being forced to fight for equality on a state-by-state basis. We are American citizens and we are entitled to 14th Amendment protection in every aspect of our lives, in every state in the union. I have no doubt whatsoever that LGBT people will soon accomplish this, but I’m angry at the setbacks, of course, in Maine, in California, which do nothing but hurt real human beings and gain no one anything that any sane human being could possibly want. And I guess I should add that I’m angry at the LGBT community’s lack of effective national political leadership, our lack of a coordinated national strategy, but there are signs that maybe this is beginning to change. And I guess I should add that I’m angry at myself: I didn’t send money or help out in Maine, so who have I got to be angry at, really, other than myself? On the other hand: 47% for marriage equality is a number that should hearten us and dishearten the bigots, cretins and theocrats. So let’s get back to work.