GOP Defends Maine’s Gay-Baiting Ad On Same-Day Voter Registration

As voters in Maine consider a ballot initiative to strike down a narrowly-passed law that eliminated election day voter registration in the state, opponents of same-day registration are running an ad in 25 community papers that singles out a gay rights group’s involvement in the effort. The ad implies that same-day registration would help the LGBT equality organization — EqualityMaine — push through a “gay” agenda and hopes to convince homophobic voters to maintain the new election restrictions:

Maine’s Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is defending the tone of the ad, arguing that it was designed to “educate” the public about EqualityMaine, “one of the advocacy groups involved in the coalition that wants to retain the state’s 38-year-old EDR law.” “We’ve talked about the different left-of-center groups that are supporting this referendum and questioned why they’re doing that,” Webster said. “That’s all this is.”

Meanwhile, a recent poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that support for EqualityMaine’s “agenda” — which includes marriage equality — is increasing among independents in Maine. Fifty-one percent of voters say they support marriage equality, including 53 percent of independents. In 2009, EqualityMaine lost its campaign to preserve marriage equality when a referendum to overturn same-sex marriage passed by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent.