Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maine Marriage Equality Part Deux

One of the big shockers of the past decade in the struggle for LGBT equality in America was our defeat in a Maine referendum in 2009.  The Northeastern state had seemingly struck a victory for the good guys with a legislative bill legalizing same-sex marriage until NOM and friends intervened, successfully placing the bill on hold and then passing a voter-approved law banning gay nuptials.

Well, Mainers, get ready, because it's about to get rehashed again.
Today, same-sex marriage advocates in Maine announced that a citizen initiative campaign for a law allowing same-sex couples to marry cleared its first major hurdle with the Secretary of State’s approval of the language of the proposed statute. This allows campaign volunteers and supporters to begin collecting the signatures required to put “An Act to Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom” on the November 2012 ballot.

“I’m grateful to Secretary of State Summers for promptly approving the language of the proposed law to let same-sex couples marry in Maine,” said Pastor Michael Gray of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church, one of six original signers of the initiative petition. “As campaign volunteers fan out across the state to collect signatures from their fellow Mainers I expect they will encounter thousands of willing signers who have changed their hearts and minds on marriage after getting to know their gay and lesbian neighbors, co-workers and community members – just as I have done.”
The Maine defeat was a crushing blow to equality, and many advocates are excited to see the referendum process start again.  In order to place the bill on the ballot, thousands of petition signatures are needed.  Then begins the grueling campaign to convince voters in 2012 to allow gays to marry.  However, with the passage of marriage equality in New York State, many are hopeful that Maine will signify a new victory in the countrywide fight to defeat bigotry and inequality.

No comments:

Post a Comment