Maine lawmakers send same sex marriage question to voters
Maine voters will have the opportunity to allow same sex couples to legally marry this November, according to the Associated Press.
The Maine Senate on Wednesday passed up a chance to vote on the citizen initiative, sending it to the voters instead. The House did the same on Tuesday.
“Democrats believe the people of Maine must decide this question,” Minority Leader Emily Cain (D) said. “We support the effort of the thousands of Maine people who signed the petitions to put this question before voters in November. The people of Maine should have an opportunity to cast a direct vote on this matter of fairness and equality for all families.”
A Public Polling Policy survey released earlier this month found 47 percent of Maine voters supported the referendum, while only 32 percent opposed it.
Maine is the only state in New England that does not allow same sex couples to enter into marriage or civil unions.
The state passed legislation in 2009 that would have allowed same sex couples to wed, but the law was repealed six months later by a statewide referendum.
Equality Maine, GLAAD and Maine Freedom to Marry launched a signature-gathering drive August 2011 in hopes placing the issue on the ballot again.
The coalition announced in November 2011 that it had collected more than 100,000 signatures, well over the 57,277 signatures required.