EqualityMaine, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Main Women’s Lobby announced on Thursday that they have 105,000 petitions signed by Maine voters, which far exceeds the 57,277 required to place a question on the November ballot regarding same-sex marriage. The Secretary of State’s Office now has 30 days to certify that the signatures are valid. Three years ago, Maine residents voted 53 to 47 on a referendum to overturn the state Legislature’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine, stated, “Many people have changed their minds. The number of signatures we gathered and the thoughtful conversations we’ve been having with voters tell us that Mainers are eager to speak on this question again.”
Maine is the only state in New England in which civil unions or same-sex marriages are not legalized. Currently, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Hawaii recognize same-sex civil unions. Same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington DC.
Boston Herald 1/27/12; Associated Press 1/26/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/3/12