Activists in Maine report that they’ve got more than double the required signatures to place same-sex marriage on the November ballot. On January 23rd Equality Maine will announce whether they’ll do so.
The goal is to avoid a demoralizing repeat of 2009, Smith said. Voters rejected, by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent, a same-sex marriage law passed by legislators led by Democrats and signed by then-Governor John Baldacci, also a Democrat. In 2010, Republicans won control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s office for the first time since 1966. Advocates for changing the law have sought to build support by knocking on 100,000 doors around the state and collecting signatures to get the issue on the ballot, Smith said. A presidential election, which attracts more young voters who tend to support same-sex marriage, may make it easier to win passage, she said. “All this leads us to believe that 2012 is a very different year for us than 2009,” Smith said. “Until we finally win marriage at the ballot, opponents will always claim that marriage is supported only by the courts and legislatures, but not by the people.”