While 'No on 1/Protect Marriage Equality' campaign director Jesse Connolly did not concede defeat at the end-of-the-night address to supporters of the campaign at the Portland Holiday Inn, the faces of the campaign staff behind him told a different story. There was sadness and tears and a sense of the team trying to hold each other together. They seemed to know that the 'Yes on 1' lead was insurmountable and, while it wasn't spelled out at the time, the message reverberated through the shocked crowd.
Well, now it's official. I just received the official 'No on 1' concession --
STATEMENT OF JESSE CONNOLLY, CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR NO ON 1Some of us at the bloggers' table had advance warning of things turning for the worse. But for a majority of those gathered it must have come out of nowhere. For most of the night, they had been looking at incoming reports and cheering what seemed to be an early lead for the 'No on 1' side. Alas, that was not to be. Below, scenes captured soon after the 'No on 1' team had left the stage for the final time.
Tonight, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn't enough.
I am proud of the thousands of Mainers who knocked on doors, made phone calls and talked to their family, friends and neighbors about the basic premise of treating all Maine families equally.
And I'm proud of this campaign because the stories we told and the images we shared were of real Mainers -- parents who stood up for their children, and couples who simply wanted to marry the person they love.
We're in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year-- until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.
- Wockner: Maine voters 'veto' gay marriage law that was passed by Legislature and signed by governor (Nov. 4, 2009)
- Sorta live-blogging from the Holiday Inn in Portland - Election night in Maine (Nov. 4, 2009)
- The back of Nat Silver's head - Day ZERO in Maine (Nov. 3, 2009)
- Red is the color of equality in Maine -- 1 day to go! (Nov. 2, 2009)
- Pod people take over Maine -- 2 days to go (Nov. 1, 2009)
- Hallow's Eve in Maine -- 3 days to go! (Oct. 31, 2009)