After the Maine legislature and governor passed equal rights measures for gays in terms of marriage in 2009, our religiously-motivated bigots got organized and turned the clock back quite quickly. They won that battle, but the war continues:
Gay-marriage advocates turned in more than enough signatures to move ahead with a citizen initiative that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maine, the secretary of state’s office ruled Thursday.
More than 85,000 signatures were declared valid. The groups needed only 57,277 signatures for their bill to get to the Legislature.
The decision means lawmakers will now be presented with a citizen initiative to allow gay marriage in Maine.
I’m proud to say my signature was among those turned into the secretary of state.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this. It’s great that this is back on the ballot, and early poll numbers are positive, but equal rights were defeated by a hefty margin in 2009, 53-47. It’s going to be an uphill battle for sure, but I suspect it will help that it is a Presidential election year.
At any rate, even if we continue to treat some people in Maine as second-class citizens after this November, it’s only a matter of time before the state gets on the right side of history and continues to make New England proud.