Rockland gallery hosts Question 1 victory celebration
Rockland — "I'm here for her," said Hank Lunn of Camden. He's holding a picture of two smiling women: Lunn's daughter Robin, a reverend and Camden native who now lives in New Hampshire, and Robin's spouse Rev. Shayna Appel.
Robin, Lunn said, struggled to be normal throughout her childhood, and only realized she was gay after marrying and having two children. Now Robin is the executive director of Affirming and Welcoming American Baptists, a group dedicated to the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within Baptists churches.
During advocacy organization EqualityMaine's Jan. 30 celebration at the David Scriven Crowley Gallery in Rockland, Lunn said he is "extremely proud" of his daughter, calling her life journey "courageous."
Question 1, which called for the ratification same-sex marriage in Maine, was passed by 53 percent of voters on Nov. 6, 2012, making Maine the only state to approve same-sex marriage without a legislative or court initiative.
EqualityMaine Executive Director Betsy Smith told the crowd Jan. 30 that although the organization's recent victory was unprecedented, marriage equality "while incredible, is not the end of the journey."
According to EqualityMaine Political Director Ali Vander Zanden, two bills have recently been filed seeking to alter the same-sex marriage legislation.
Also present at the Jan. 30 festivities in Rockland was EqualityMaine board member and Rockport resident Lucie Bauer, who said she has been involved with the equality movement since the 1980s.
Though Bauer and wife Annie Kiermaier had held a commitment ceremony in 1996, they were officially wed in California in 2008, after Kiermaier's return from a hiking trip.
Bauer and Kiermaier, who were present in Portland for the 2012 election, said when the news of Question 1's passage reached the assembled crowd, the resultant cheer was "unbelievable."
Kiermaier said she is "very, very happy" the couple's marriage is now valid in Maine.
Host David Scriven Crowley of Cushing said he and spouse Kevin Jordan encountered severe opposition while engaged in door-to-door canvassing in the Midcoast prior to the election, but were "delightfully shocked" when the bill passed.
Crowley, who has also hosted functions for Meals on Wheels and Georges River Land Trust, added, "We are very fortunate. Blessed."
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.