As a former and potentially future resident of New England it is so joy-inducing to see the region lead the way on THE contemporary civil rights issue. Mainers have had a roller coaster journey toward marriage equality and now there is a movement afoot to put the Pine Tree State in the proud ranks of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and now New York.

Towleroad reports on a recent event in Lewiston sponsored by Equality Maine:

On Thursday, Equality Maine Executive Director Betsy Smith said supporters of same-sex marriage have continued talking to the public about the issue, working to change the overall public sentiment. “We’ve changed hearts and minds during ‘No on One,’ and since then, many more Mainers have changed their hearts and continue to change their minds,” said Smith in a Thursday release. “We have been going door to door, talking to them and hearing their journey toward support. In two separate polls, conducted over the last five months, 53 percent of Mainers surveyed said they support letting gay and lesbian couples marry here.”

Early in the naughts, Lewiston was the place that welcomed thousands of Somalis and a handful of volunteers. And I hope that someday soon, gays and lesbians will be welcome to have their love, their relationships honored by the State. I will always remember the kindness, beauty and love of the people I met in Maine and now count them all as friends & family.