Enough signatures collected in Maine to put same sex marriage on ballot
Supporters of same sex marriage in Maine have gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a statewide vote in 2012, according to the Associated Press.
EqualityMaine, GLAAD and Maine Freedom to Marry launched the signature-gathering drive in late August in hopes placing the legalization of marriage for same sex couples on next November’s ballot.
The coalition announced Wednesday that it had collected more than 100,000 signatures, well over the 57,277 signatures required.
“Yesterday, as volunteers gathered signatures for marriage, folks statewide reported enthusiasm and changed minds – a volunteer in a small town kept calling to ask if she could stay longer because she was so excited how many people were singing,” the group said in an email to supporters.
“A man in a northern, rural town told us he wouldn’t have signed two years ago, and when we asked what changed his mind he said simply, ‘My daughter.’”
Betsy Smith of EqualityMaine told the Associated Press that the group will decide on a referendum in January.
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The state passed legislation in 2009 that would have allowed same sex couples to wed, but the law was repealed six months later by a statewide ballot.