Maine same-sex marriage question headed to the November ballot

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March 15, 2012

Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine: It's official: Maine voters will decide come November if the state should recognize same-sex marriages. The question began as a citizen initiative, which meant the state Legislature had the choice of passing it as proposed or voting to kill it, sending it before voters.

The House unanimously voted on Tuesday to postpone the bill. This action avoids a public hearing and a recorded vote. The bill was then sent to the Senate, who joined the House in voting to kill it yesterday. Since the proposal being considered is an indirect initiated constitutional amendment, the Maine Legislature had to review it first. Since there will not be a vote in session to enact the law automatically, the measure will now be sent to the voters.[1]

Minority Leader Emily Cain (D), who supports gay-marriage, stated, “Democrats believe the people of Maine must decide this question. 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.”[2]

Back in 2009, the Legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill known as "An Act to Promote Marriage Equality and Affirm Religious Freedom," which was signed into law by then Gov. John E. Baldacci (D). Opponents succeeded in placing a question on the ballot to repeal the law, which voters approved by a margin of 52.75 percent to 47.25 percent.[3]

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