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.

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  • CHIP1218

    Its not a margin of 53, that was the vote in favor of the repeal, the margin was 6 % as in 53-47. I spent a week up there campaigning on behalf of Marriage Equality and I spoke with many who told me they would vote to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Seven or eight months later I got an email from someone I met who was against marriage equality but not against other gay rights. She told me a family friend in another state couldn’t visit their partner at the local hospital because they were not married and therefore she wasn’t immediate family. Because of that incident, she would change her vote if it ever came up to vote again. Who knows how many more voters have had a similar change of heart over the past 2 plus years…

  • Mike in Asheville

    I’ll take a stab that the effort of collecting over 100,000 signatures, shows that this time around, the good guys, that is gays and lesbians, have secured TWICE the number of signatures that the bad guys, Catholic Cult and Moron Church, collected for Maine’s Question 1 repealing same-sex marriage. Good luck and cheers to Maine.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @CHIP1218: Cheery story, thanks.

    Indeed, the only way we, LGBT, have achieved ANY civil rights, has been because former foes have changed their opinion. When I came of age, 1978, sodomy between consenting men was illegal in more states than not. Public support for gay relationship rights was around 15% (didn’t ask about marriage as that was so not-even-thinkable).

    Cheers to those who are “Up from Bigotry”.


    You raise the question about the number of people who change their minds in the 3 years between votes. There is even more reason to believe that the good guys can win this one: death and birth rates. Between the 2009 and 2012 votes, approximately 20,000 senior citizens will have died while 50,000 teens will come of age to vote.

    The approximate net gain of support based on more anti-same-sex marriage seniors dying and more pro-same-sex youth able to vote:
    15,000 anti-gay senior deaths 5,000 pro-gay senior deaths
    16,600 anti-gay teens vote 33,400 pro-gay teen vote
    —————————– —————————-
    +1,600 anti-gay voters +28,400 pro-gay voters

    The bad guys won Question 1 by 33,020 votes.

    Since a new vote would be tied to the presidential election, by percentages of Q1, we will need about 6,000 others to change their mind, or, about 1 in 80.

  • Mike Kilpatrick

    OK you have no business raging on Chris Christie when you do the same damn thing!!! You can’t expect people to have more respect for you than you have for yourself.

  • Stefan

    @Mike in Asheville:

    And that’s not even taking into account that 2009 was an off election year, which was sqewed to the right by default.

  • Hyhybt

    @Mike Kilpatrick: “This shouldn’t have to be put to a vote” does not contradict “if putting this to a vote is the only way to get it through, then so be it.”

  • Torchwood

    @Mike in Asheville
    Actually its more that the former foes have died. Literally, if everyone over the age of 50 was denied the right to vote, marriage equality would be legal in most states. Probably not Alabama or Florida but certainly Maine and California

Comments are closed.