EQUAL RITES

UPDATED: Maine Marriage-Equality Supporters Ready To Announce Another Referendum

Gay-marriage advocates in Maine have gathered over 100,000 signatures, but they’re not saying exactly what they’re going to do with them. [Update: Freedom to Marry has released a statement saying they will put marriage equality on the ballot this November. See below.]

“We look forward to making an announcement tomorrow about our future plans,” ACLU chief Shanna Bellows said yesterday to the Morning Sentinel. The announcement will come at noon, and gay-marriage opponents believe they’ll announce their decision to put gay marriage on the ballot again in November.

This is one time when we’d agree with our opponents—why would Maine activisits have collected almost double the 57,277 signatures they need just to announce they’re putting it off for another year?

In 2009, opponents of gay marriage successfully overturned legislators’ marriage-equality bill, by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent, after a rabid campaign by Maine Catholics. Here’s to hoping that won’t be the case this November.

UPDATE (1/26, 12:30pm): Freedom to Marry has released a statement confirming they will put marriage equality on the ballot this November.

Over the past few years, marriage supporters have knocked on doors, chatted around kitchen tables and in church basements, and talked with their neighbors about their lives, loved ones, and kin, and why marriage matters. Mainers have seen that same-sex couples and their families, like all other families, are working their hardest to take care of their families in tough economic times, sharing in life’s joys and challenges, and doing the work of marriage day to day. That’s why a solid majority of Mainers have opened their hearts and made up their minds in support of the freedom to marry. And while a minority should never have to ask the majority to vote on whether all of us should have the same freedoms under the law, because of how the law and politics work in Maine, this is the only path forward for couples seeking to share in the legal commitment of marriage.