Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry to Hold Interfaith Candlelight Vigils

Portland, Maine (Sunday, November 1, 2009) — This weekend, faith leaders from the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in Maine, will hold interfaith candlelight vigils in communities across the state to remind people of all faiths to vote NO on Question 1.

“We will gather in candlelight this weekend to pray that the law granting the right, gift, and responsibility of marriage for all residents of the State of Maine will be upheld at the polls this Tuesday,” said Rev. Emily Gibson of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Brewer.  “As people of faith, we declare that there are no second class citizens in the eyes of God, and that the rights many of us take for granted as married people belong to all couples who wish to make a lifelong commitment.”

Vigils will be held in Brewer, Machias, Augusta, Auburn, Norway – South Paris, Brunswick, Portland and Kennebunk.  Information on specific dates, times and locations is below.

Representing 18 faith traditions, the diverse coalition of active and retired clergy, believes that only marriage equality confers the full protections and dignity all Maine families.   The coalition has held discussions on marriage equality in the context of their faith traditions, invited guest pastors to speak, and hosted phonebanks.

“Believing that our faith calls us to stand on the side of love, many members of Maine’s religious communities strongly support marriage equality.  This weekend, we join together in bearing public witness to our support of a NO vote on Question 1,” said Rev. Jodi Cohen Hayashida of the First Universalist Church of Auburn.

VIGILS WILL BE HELD:

Sunday, November 1:

Brewer, from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 21 Holyoke Street;

Machias, at 5:00 PM, at Centre Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 9 Center Street;

Augusta, from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta, 69 Winthrop Street;

Auburn, from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, at the First Universalist Church of Auburn, 169 Pleasant Street on the Spring Street Lawn;

Brunswick, from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM, on the Brunswick Mall, Maine Street;

Portland, from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, at the Williston-West Church, United Church of Christ, 32 Thomas Street;

Kennebunk, from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 114 Main Street.

 

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Nine Towns Can Vote Early

Your vote is your voice.  You can make that voice heard earlier than the rest of the crowd in 9 Maine towns this week.  Early voting, which is separate from Maine’s absentee voting program, has been launched to make voting easier and attempt to increase voter turnout.  Absentee votes create extra clerical work for town officials.  Early voting functions in exactly the same way as when you vote on voting day.  Head to the polls, fill in your bubbles or check boxes, and drop your vote in the ballot box.  Ballots are locked in a safe at the end of each day.

So if you live in Augusta, Bangor, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Hallowell, Saco, Scarborough or Standish beat the crowds and vote early.  Then on voting day you can kick back and relax.  Check your town website for more information.