Maine will bring marriage to the ballot in November
January 26, 2012
We're out to make history in Maine! This afternoon, our friends at EqualityMaine and GLAD will deliver over 100,000 signatures to Maine's Secretary of State that will put the freedom to marry on the ballot this November. Marriage advocates in Maine have worked hard to reach this point, knocking on thousands of doors, having conversations and changing hearts and minds around the state. Once the signatures are delivered today, Maine will become the first state to ever proactively pursue marriage for same-sex couples via a ballot initiative.
Our Founder and President Evan Wolfson released this statement this morning:
“Over the past few years, marriage supporters have knocked on doors, chatted around kitchen tables and in church basements, and talked with their neighbors about their lives, loved ones, and kin, and why marriage matters. Mainers have seen that same-sex couples and their families, like all other families, are working their hardest to take care of their families in tough economic times, sharing in life’s joys and challenges, and doing the work of marriage day to day. That’s why a solid majority of Mainers have opened their hearts and made up their minds in support of the freedom to marry. And while a minority should never have to ask the majority to vote on whether all of us should have the same freedoms under the law, because of how the law and politics work in Maine, this is the only path forward for couples seeking to share in the legal commitment of marriage.”
A lot has changed in Maine since 2009 when a marriage bill passed in the Legislature and was narrowly overturned on the ballot in November. Thanks to the smart work of EqualityMaine and GLAD, public support for the freedom to marry has risen from approximately 48 percent to 54 percent.
It's also worth noting that Maine has a history of taking several rounds to secure civil rights protections. A non-discrimination law passed through the Legislature and went to the ballot three times before it was finally sustained.
Freedom to Marry will serve on the executive committee of the ballot campaign and provide strategic support, resources, and staff time in the coming months.
Click here to take the pledge to support the freedom to marry in Maine.