Maine Activists Get Enough Signatures To Put Marriage Equality On The November Ballot

Maine’s Secretary of State Charles Summers confirmed today that marriage-equality supporters garnered enough signatures to get a same-sex-marriage referendum put on the ballot in November.

In late January advocates turned in more than 105,000 signatures—and with 85,216 of those signatures now officially verified, they’ve already surpassed the 57,277 required for a citizen’s initiative.

Statewide polling shows that support for marriage equality is at 54% and growing. We’d rather not put our civil liberties to a public vote, but if we have to it’s good to know we can win.

The cause has garnered support from diverse groups, explains Equality Maine’s Betsy Smith: “During the last two years, our coalition has had thousands of face-to-face conversations about marriage with Mainers who have changed their minds about this issue,” she says. “There’s no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage.”

Below, a Maine canvasser goes door-to-door for the cause, with less-than-stellar results.

Fortunately many Mainers feel different, including Pastor Michael Gray of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church. He’s the  petition’s lead signer:

Just as my own thinking has evolved on this issue, more and more people in Maine are coming to understand that loving, committed same-sex couples should not be denied the freedom to marry. We gathered signatures from voters in more than 450 towns all over Maine, and those people signed the petition because they want the chance to vote on this issue again so their gay and lesbian family, friends and neighbors can have access to marriage licenses.”

Congrats—and good luck—to our friends in the Pine Tree State! (And, hey, could you ship us some lobster?)

Images via Equality Maine