Marriage will be on Maine’s ballot this November. And for the first time, it is gay activists who put it there.
Advocates of same-sex marriage turned in more than enough signatures to move ahead with a citizens initiative that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maine, the Secretary of State’s Office ruled Thursday. More than 85,000 voter signatures were declared valid. The advocacy groups needed at least 57,277 valid signatures for their bill to get to the Legislature. Lawmakers now will be presented with a citizens initiative proposing the legalization of gay marriage in Maine. Currently, seven states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriages. Lawmakers have the option of passing the bill as proposed, but they likely will send it to voters in November. Advocates of same-sex marriage, who lost in 2009 at the ballot box in a 53-47 percent vote, say enough Mainers have changed their minds that the measure will pass this time.