There are a number of reasons to be excited about the results of last night’s elections including the large number of LGBT people elected office and the election of marriage supporter Liz Mathis to the Iowa Senate. One key win for efforts to restore marriage in Maine is the amazing work Equality Maine did on Election Day.
Equality Maine and its team of volunteers across the state gathered more than 35,000 signatures on a petition to place the repeal of the state’s marriage ban on the ballot. If Equality Maine gathers the necessary signatures, the freedom to marry could be placed on the ballot for November 2012.
In August, a coalition led by EqualityMaine launched a petition drive for a citizens’ initiative that would ask Mainers the following question on the November 2012 ballot:
“Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for 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?”
Before Tuesday, EqualityMaine Director Betsy Smith said nearly 60,000 signatures had been gathered. On Election Day, dozens of volunteers were stationed at polling places across Maine with the aim of finishing the effort.
The state legislature passed a marriage law in 2009, but it was repealed that November by a NOM-backed initiative that repealed the law and banned marriage.