Residents of York County celebrated the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in a variety of ways on Friday. In Ogunquit, known as a popular LGBT vacation destination with a number of local businesses owned by LGBT community members, the historic Playhouse put the banner in a rainbow colored lighting scheme celebrating LGBT pride. Marketing Director of the Playhouse Cheryl Farley said that the reaction from patrons has been “overwhelmingly positive.” Equality Maine, an LGBT civil rights organization, held a victory party at Maine Street, a bar and event space.
Legislators from across York County also heralded the Supreme Court’s decision.
Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, who campaigned for marriage equality while working for Mainers United for Marriage, said that the decision was hard-fought.
“We changed hearts and minds, door-by-door, legislature-by-legislature, state-by-state, and court-by-court,” Fecteau said. “We knocked on doors in Maine and love won. We knocked on the door of the Supreme Court on Friday and love won again. As a gay person, as a Catholic, as a public servant, I am proud that marriage for all is the law of the land.”
Justin Chenette, D-Saco, one of the youngest openly gay legislators in the country, said that the decision was “all he wanted.”
“It’s an incredible feeling you get when you gain a constitutional right that your friends and family have had their whole lives and never had to think twice about,” Chenette said. “It’s the feeling of being acknowledged to be equal based on something that makes us inherently human, love.”
The Supreme Court’s decision led to a number of states that had not already legalized gay marriage, mostly in the south, to officially recognize such marriages as a constitutional right. Maine has recognized gay marriages since a ballot initiative passed in the state in 2012, making it one of the first states to pass gay marriage by popular referendum.
By NATHAN LYNCH | Special to the Journal Tribune