"I've been proud and very privileged to be a leader in the LGBT equality movement for many years. As executive director of the ACLU of Maine, I spent every day bringing Republicans and Democrats together to expand civil liberties and strengthen equal protection under the law. I believe in taking strong stances in favor of Constitutional protections and equal rights even when they're unpopular. Remaining silent on some of the biggest civil rights issues of our generation, even after the voters have spoken, isn't leadership, and it isn't how Maine became one of the most inclusive states in the country for LGBT rights.
"My opponent, Republican Susan Collins, had the chance to speak up in favor of marriage equality in 2012 or any time in the previous decade. Two years after her constituents made their feelings known at the ballot box, she has refused to break her silence. I believe Mainers need, want and deserve more proactive representation on equal rights - on allowing LGBT students to learn without fear of bullying, on applying for jobs and going to work without fear of discrimination, and on much more. I'm running for Senate to provide that proactive representation and to expand Constitutional protections for our LGBT community.
"This is one endorsement in an election year. Mainers are more interested in both candidates' records, and my record speaks for itself."
-- Maine's Democratic candidate for Senate, Shenna Bellows, responding to HRC's endorsement of Republican Senator Susan Collins. Bellows, the former head of the Maine ACLU, helped lead the 2012 effort to pass marriage equality at the ballot box and has said one of her first acts as a Senator would be to introduce an omnibus bill "to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in marriage, housing, education, access to credit, public accommodations and employment."
Hours after it was announced Collins was being endorsed by HRC, the Senator announced her support for marriage equality.