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‘No On 1’ Supporter Governor John Baldacci on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ and Beyond

Thank you, Governor, for your open support and advocacy!

First, this clip from last night’s “TRMS”:

Much more below of what a REAL “Fierce Advocate” says and does!For one thing, a real leader speaks with the media to discuss the issues at hand and lets his personal opinions be known!

My friend Joe Sudbay had this report yesterday about the governor’s visit to ‘No On 1’ HQ in Portland.

Governor Baldacci stopped by the campaign office today. He reminded me that the last time I saw him was in the summer of 2006. John and I, along with several gay political types, had lunch with the Governor to discuss future legislation in Maine. Marriage seemed like a very distant reality. But, this year, John Baldacci became the first Governor to sign a marriage equality bill into law. He’ll be on Rachel Maddow’s show tonight. He did the right thing and he’s proud of that.

Here’s the Governor with our campaign manager Jesse Connolly at the Portland HQ earlier today.

Nice. Very nice.

‘On Top’ Magazine had this to say about the governor:

Despite his last-minute endorsement of Maine’s gay marriage law when he signed it, Governor John Baldacci does not want it repealed, the Bangor Daily News reported.

At a Tuesday event in support of gay marriage, the governor said the issue was about equality, and urged Maine voters to reject Question 1.

“I think Maine people have recognized … that we are all unique people, we are all different,” he said. “But we are all under the same Constitution and we all want to make sure there is equal protection for all citizens.

Baldacci has not always backed granting gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, saying early on he endorsed civil unions. His signing of the gay marriage law last May came as a bit of a surprise to opponents, but supporters had read his ambiguity on the subject correctly.

Fair enough, I suppose. But let me remind folks of a few points:

The Governor told Charlie that he has directed his staff to bring every single email he receives regarding LD 1020 to his attention and has read every single one- this is a man who wants to learn fully about the issue, the discussions and the views of all of his constituents.

Some snips of what the Governor told Charlie:

“I was extremely impressed by the arguments for both sides, but especially by the proponents.

They were very respectful- I liked that they turned their backs when they disagreed.

I was truly impressed by the people who spoke for the bill.

I was opposed to this for a long time, but people evolve, people change as time goes by.

Then there was my conversation with Governor Baldacci:

I described my background- a lifelong “Jim Longley” independant until February 2008, when I finally registered as a Democrat. That until a few years ago, if someone had told me that I would learn about, advocate and take up a cause in which I had no personal stake, I would have said they were crazy.

But in my mind, this is all about FAIRNESS. All Mainers- and their families- having the same rights, being treated the same, being recognized and protected under law the same.

He then gave me his views of Maine a a state and our fellow Mainers that showed me he loves this state as deeply as I do.

That Mainers are very proud and independant, wanting their own civil rights, to be treated fairly, and are willing to let people live as they want to.

I was encouraged and continued, telling him about last week’s public hearing and how impressed I have been with the respectful tone set by Equality Maine and the moving stories, time and again, of families- just regular people and families– and that I had to leave because I felt I would burst into tears if I heard one more story of unequality.

That I spent 13 hours last week at the testimony (he had heard much of the testimony via livefeed and was especially impressed with the respectful messages), listening to moving stories of real Maine families, who simply want to have the same rights and protections that he and I have with OUR families.

At that point, he told me that civil rights sometimes take time to obtain.

I told him that I understood that all Mainers have an opinion regarding LD 1020 and while WE can all openly discuss them and many have already, HIS was the one opinion that had to be kept private and he HAS to keep quiet right now, as to let the legislative process play out without interference.

His response was that I was absolutely right.

Our later joint conclusion is that if a bill does pass and is presented to the governor for signing, he will indeed sign it.

HOWEVER, he did not say that specifically.

THIS was democracy at its best- our elected leader reaching out to speak at length with voters.

People from away can say what they want- when it comes right down to it, Maine IS different– it’s in our blood.

Maine ways… Maine values. It’s how we’re brought up! TOGETHER.

(and after seeing this hundreds of times, this still moves me to tears- even now…)

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