Gay marriage to appear on Maine ballot once again

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.

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7 Responses

  1. My wife and I spent many hours collecting some of those signatures. I am also cautiously optomistic about our chances. I think it is an embarrassment that New Hampshire has marriage equality before Maine!

  2. Hopefully you’ll succeed this time around. I was a touch surprised when you lost the last battle. With any luck you’ll have the public behind you this year.

  3. Tom, what’s wrong with New Hampshire? We already knew the residents were more free than the people of Maine.

  4. I signed too, but I sign everything.

  5. Sign everything, you say? Hmm. Even cheques giving me vast sums of money for no reason?

  6. Sure, but it won’t get you very far!

    At least until this point I have signed every ballot petition I have ever been presented with. Regardless of my feelings on an issue. Kind of a dangerous thing in my view to put something on a ballot. In a way, putting something out for a public vote requires one to admit the public has the authority to make the determination.

    I’m not saying you have to admit any such thing, but that that is the impression you give. If you want to hold the position that the law as it sits is illegally discriminatory, putting it on the ballot in a way seems to make the opposite argument. Regardless whether that is or is not the intent.

    I realize that a referendum may be the best way to right certain wrongs, but that isn’t a bulletproof opinion, nor is it certain to be widely held.

    On this particular question, I’m going to vote whichever way I feel will make me more likely not to have to keep hearing about this. I’m bored with it and annoyed by continued rambling. I still maintain the government shouldn’t be making the rules anyway.

  7. And in regards to the first comment, insofar as I am aware, no state has what could be even loosely regarded as equality in marriage.

    Many, if not most, states still discriminate against those who have been married a certain number of times and all discriminate against polygamists. Not even to mention incestuous marriages, the point of which is seemingly to reduce incestuous reproduction, something that I would think could be achieved easier in other ways.

    And countless others. Legalizing gay marriage does not result in equality, just less inequality.

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