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.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.
“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.”