• Marriage in Maine

Announcement from EQME Board President, Meredith Hunt

Chris O'Connor's picture
Written by Chris O'Connor
July 24, 2015 - 1:19pm

Friends and supporters,

Just two years ago, Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box. It was the culmination of nearly thirty years of amazing work by thousands of you. It was one of the proudest moments for so many of us.

For more than three decades, our work and dedication has been successful because of our commitment to be responsive and transitional. We demonstrated that commitment once again following the successful marriage campaign when we developed a strategic plan to provide critical advocacy in a number of focus areas. Recent accomplishments include:

  • The defeat of the so-called religious freedom attempts and voter ID bills, and the passage of legislation that strengthens Maine families and increases protections for LGBT people in Maine;

  • Training hundreds of people in schools, healthcare providers and human resources so they have information they need to provide safe and competent services that supports LGBT people;
  • Developing leadership programs to prepare LGBTQ and allied youth to be the next leaders of our movement;
  • And, launching a multi-year strategic plan that will continue to be used as a guide for many other equality organizations across our country and in Maine for years to come.

We have been fortunate to have a talented and dedicated leader to ensure success during this important time of transition. Under Elise Johansen’s leadership, EqualityMaine has been able to implement a broader mission with a focus on strengthening relationships with our coalition partners, making Maine a safer place for LGBTQ youth, and tackling the critical work at ending health care discrimination against transgender Mainers.

Although Elise has decided to leave the organization for a new and exciting opportunity, EqualityMaine is excited to continue to build upon our recent successes.

We are proud of our reputation both in Maine and across the country, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. We know that until every single member of our community is able to live a safe and authentic life and until our rights and protections are not threatened, then we still have much work left to do. We are pleased to announce that Matt Moonen, a long-time, active member of our community and partner in our work, will serve as our Interim Executive Director as we begin an immediate and aggressive search for our next executive director who will be able to continue this fight for full equality.

On behalf of the EqualityMaine Board of Directors, please join us in wishing Elise success in her next professional chapter, and stay tuned for updates as we continue our great work.


Meredith Hunt, EqualityMaine Board President
Barb Wood, VP of EqualityMaine Foundation
Shawn LaGrega, VP of EqualityMaine

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