Maine Repeal of Ban Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Question 1 (1998)

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The Maine Sexual Orientation Discrimination Referendum, on the ballot as Question 1 (Special) appeared on the February 10, 1998 special election ballot in Maine as a veto referendum, where it was approved with 51.3% of voters in favor. Approveda The effect of a "yes" vote was to reject a recently-enacted law passed by the Maine State Legislature that added sexual orientation to the list of conditions that it is illegal to discriminate against in Maine, in terms of jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit.

Election results

Question 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 145,452 51.29%
No138,15348.71%

Aftermath

After this special election vote on a People's Veto, the Maine State Legislature voted to propose a new constitutional amendment to the Maine Constitution in 1999, the Maine Election Timing of People's Veto (1999), which was approved. This new constitutional amendment said that henceforward, Maine People's Vetoes votes could not be held at special elections--as was the case with this 1998 vote--but could only be held at regularly scheduled statewide and general elections.

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Do you want to reject the law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit?

This legislation amends the Maine Human Rights Act to make it unlawful to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation in decisions regarding employment, housing, access to public accommodations and the extension of credit. Religious organizations are exempt from this new provision.

This legislation was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in May, 1997. Petitioners subsequently collected a sufficient number of signatures of registered voters to refer the legislation to the people for approval or disapproval at a statewide election. Its effect has been suspended pending the outcome of the election.

A "YES" vote is in favor of the people's veto and disapproves the legislation.

A "NO" vote is in opposition to the people's veto and approves the legislation.

See also

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