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

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  • Ben

    Good news for us! *crosses fingers*

  • CJ

    Boy, NOM is going to be spread thin this year having to fight battles in multiple states at once.

    At the same time, we shouldn’t relax in these state-by-state battles. The anti-equality forces got Proposition 8 passed in California, a state that leans left. So, we should never assume that equality will sail through any state (whether it be Main, Washington State or otherwise) with ease.

  • Wolfsbane McDogstail

    Funny as hell to watch the video clip that went along with this article. If you look closely enough you can see that this “christian” lady has about 3 kids running around the house! No wonder this dumb b*tch doesn’t agree with Marriage Equality she prolly wants to see all of us just as MISERABLE and tied down with illegitimate whelps as she is!! LMFAO!!!!

  • DuMaurier

    I guess Equality Maine didn’t get the memo that we’re not supposed to vote on civil rights.

  • Pitou

    @Wolfsbane McDogstail: Thats really just not funny.
    I dont think you watched the video in full, because I honestly think shes given a disservice isn the article. She was really into the open minded-ness of it.. and when YOUR rights come up to a majority vote.. SHE is exactly the person you are depending on.

    I sincerely hope you don’t live in a state where Gay marriage is available/recognized to you because you don’t deserve it. You’re a mockery for it.

  • Phil

    Don’t you ever fucking say that someone doesn’t deserve marriage. That is the same ugly language that bigots use to denigrate gay marriage. I don’t give a shit whether you’re gay, straight, mixed race or white trash, marriage is a basic civil right and in a just society, nobody gets to decide on your rights, irreverent of their bigotry and the pretty little excuses they come up with to disguise them.

  • Darrell

    This article does not accurately reflect what is going on in the posted video. You can see this woman goes from “strongly against” same-sex marriage to a much softer, if even accepting, tone. Like it or not, our rights are and have been going up for popular votes for the past decade+ and she has just the same vote share as the rest of us and, as Pitou said, “She is exactly the person you are depending on”. It would be best not to insult her and, instead, try and show her that supporting our rights is in society’s best interest. I hope she votes in our favor come November.

  • Pitou

    @Phil: Actually, I did say that he doesn’t deserve marriage equality, and I’ll FUCKING say it again.. HE DOESN’T DESERVE MARRIAGE EQUALITY. He comes across as an un sympathetic asshole cock-bite degrading the woman in the video per the contents of my post, and therefore I hope he is miserably single for the rest of his pathetic life. Ergo – He doesn’t deserve Marriage equality.

    So fuck off, and don’t presume to tell ME what the fuck to say. Mmm Kay. Thanks!

  • rookieinnyc

    Pleasantly surprised how a gay marriage opponent such as the woman in the video is legitimately trying to reconcile his beliefs with the world she lives in. IT is not an easy decision, but the fact that more people are thinking about it makes me incredibly happy.

  • 13Zeroither

    one of my auntie’s is like that lady in the video (the one in the house). She knows people who are lgbt (me, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, co-worker for example), she’s polite but she feels torn and against marriage equality. Its weird my relationship with her.

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