Freedom to Marry supports marriage initiatives in Maine
Jun 30, 2011 at 09:21 am
By Katie Garcia, Freedom to Marry's Communications Intern and Cameron Tolle
Today, EqualityMaine and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), joined by religious and political allies in Maine, announced that they will be redoubling their efforts in leading the initiative to restore the freedom to marry in Maine. Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert and United Methodist Pastor Michael Gray have both joined the campaign as they embark on the first steps to launch a citizen initiative to end the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage in Maine.
Today, Pastor Gray will submit the written application for the citizen initiative to the Secretary of State. Pending approval of the submitted language, EqualityMaine will begin collecting the more the 57,000 signatures required for the initiative to be put on the ballot in 2012. The question being submitted reads, “Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses to same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?”
This announcement of the citizen initiative campaign comes after 18 months of a public education campaign demonstrating why marriage matters to families across Maine. The public education campaign, which began with the 2009 No on 1 campaign, has significantly grown support for the freedom to marry in Maine. EqualityMaine, along with its coalition partners, has ramped up an extensive canvassing program, and engaged in thousands of face-to-face conversations that have changed hearts and minds and solidified majority support for the freedom to marry in Maine. EqualityMaine and GLAD are also increasing their education efforts with the launch their new website, WhyMarriageMattersMaine.org, that will feature stories from real Mainers illustrating how marriage matters to gay and lesbian couples in similar ways as everyone else. To see their new website, click here.
Freedom to Marry supports EqualityMaine and GLAD in both their public education and citizen initiative campaigns and will invest staff time and resources to amplify field and new media efforts on the ground in Maine.