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Gay-Friendly and Gay-Unfriendly Places in Maine, Revealed by Vote

Violence against gay and lesbian people in the United States is unfortunately a real concern. Just for holding hands in public with the people they love, gay and lesbian Americans have been denied service, pushed, shoved, beaten and killed. It is entirely reasonable for gay and lesbian couples thinking of visiting various parts of America to ascertain whether they will be welcomed there, shunned there, confronted there, threatened there or attacked there.

In order to help gay and lesbian couples identify friendly and unfriendly places to travel in Maine, I’ve gathered election results for the 16 counties of Maine and created a map that shows those couples where support for gay and lesbian equality is highest and where it is lowest.

Map of Maine Counties according to Vote Percentages on Ballot Question 1

The counties most friendly to gay and lesbian equality in the November 3, 2009 Ballot Question 1 vote are the southern Maine counties of York and Cumberland and the coastal counties of Hancock and Knox. These are the communities in which gay and lesbian couples holding hands are most likely to encounter welcome and least likely to encounter harassment or violence. The other counties of Maine contain a majority of voters hostile to equality for same-sex couples. Gay and lesbian visitors to these other counties in Maine are more likely to encounter harassment or violence when traveling there, and may wish to take that under consideration when deciding whether or not to make a visit.

In the days to come, I’ll provide more detailed data burrowing down to the town level. Which towns in Maine are safest for gay and lesbian tourists? Which Maine towns are most dangerous?

9 thoughts on “Gay-Friendly and Gay-Unfriendly Places in Maine, Revealed by Vote”

  1. Jacob says:

    I didnt vote for Obama. Does that mean I am more likely to kill a black person? Where is you data to support that communities that dont support gay mariage are more likely to be violent? I would think maybe using police data would be more helpful. Take Kansas City for example. the place with the highest gay support is the Westport area. The place with the highest crime rate against gays is the Westport area. (I have no data to back this, just a conversation with a gay friend of mine and his perception)

    This is poor reporting and strecting truths to make a dishonest statement

    1. Jim says:

      Obviously not, for the first question. That is voting for a candidate.

      On the second count, if your data bore out that would have to do with the percentage of gay people living in an area. Of course there will be more crimes against gay people in areas where there are more gay people, because there are more gay people there. It’s a similar phenomenon to the amazing result that most people have accidents within a mile of their home… because most people drive most often within a mile of their home.

      On that second count, the more appropriate question to ask statistically speaking would be what likelihood a single gay person has in a particular area of being a victim of a crime. That statistic will be independent of the population. And it is that kind of likelihood I am considering here: the likelihood that a gay couple, traveling to a place, will encounter poor treatment or difficulties or violence.

      If you were to vote FOR a law that made interracial marriage illegal, then YES, I would say that you would be more likely to harass, or create difficulties for, or hurt, or kill a person of a different race, more likely to do so than someone who voted AGAINST a law to make interracial marriage illegal. I would say YES to that prediction, and I would stand by that prediction.

      It is not dishonest to report areas that are more hostile in their behavior toward gay and lesbian people. If this pattern makes you uncomfortable, then DEAL WITH IT. Gay and lesbian people have to deal with much worse.

      1. jacob says:

        “It is not dishonest to report areas that are more hostile in their behavior”


        So voting is a hostile act?

        If you had the chance to vote away the use of a Senate Chaplain because you felt it was wrong that would mean that you 1. Hate christians, 2. Have a better chance of killing them and 3. are very hostile

        Got ya, that makes perfect sense…

        1. Jim says:

          1. Voting to take away equal rights is hostile. Yes.

          2. You don’t understand the difference between determinism and likelihood.

          3. I would not vote to away equal rights based on religion. That is not the same as voting away federal funding for an exclusively Christian, proselytizing Christian clergyman. But those within a group that attempts to vote away the equal rights of a group based on their religion or lack of religion would, yes, be more likely to engage in acts of discrimination and violence against that targeted group.

  2. Jim says:

    P.S. Non-anecdotal evidence for exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about. Look here for a California county map of Prop 8 results. Look here for a map of the cities of hate groups. Don’t just look at where most of the groups are. Look at where the groups are and try to consider the sizes of the communities in which those hate groups exist. Most of the hate groups exist where there are the most people, sure, but they disproportionately exist in counties that supported Proposition 8.

  3. They Call Me...Tim says:

    As I posted elsewhere: It still comes down to the bottom line…most folk believe it’s that GLBT individuals go against the grain of natural law…an INSTINCT of nature. THAT is the root cause of MOST bigotry in this issue. Race was one of “they look different”, primarily. But GLBT individuals ARE different from the norm. Their sexual needs go against what average folk think is normal. So there will ALWAYS be a bias. You can’t change that thru indoctranation in schools or elsewhere. As long as there is a church standing, or home schooling, there will always be those that think it’s wrong.

    All the color coded pretty maps will not change the average folk’s view. GLBT will always have a problem. You might as well post maps of the entire nation for “danger zones”. For all the good it would do….

    1. Jim says:

      substitute “a very slim majority of folk” for “most folk” and I’ll believe you.

      Your notion is not borne out by very real changes in perceptions and attitudes and laws toward gay and lesbian people over time, and by very real differences in perceptions and attitudes and laws toward gay and lesbian people across place.

  4. ramone says:

    it may be a very slim majority and that may be changing, but, it will still be a slim margin, leaving nearly half the population against same sex marriage. lots of room for hate mongers all over the map, even after legislation.
    one thing the LBGT community has going for it is public awareness and media coverage.[unlike the environmentalists trying to stop off shore oil drilling! the green man could only hope for as much attention.] bring it out in the open and the hypocrites and haters often step back into the shadows, they’re like vampires that way. they can’t stand up to the light of day. but, watch out at night!

  5. qs says:

    These votes are good for public educating and advocating the issue so these gay marriage fights are going to play out over the next 10-20 years in my opinion.

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