It looks like Maine will take up the question of marriage equality again in 2012. Equality supporters have been gathering signatures to put a citizen initiative on the ballot and have now gathered almost twice as many as needed.
Election Day volunteers gathered more than 35,000 signatures in support of a 2012 ballot initiative that would allow marriage licenses for lesbian and gay couples in Maine, bringing the total gathered - in just 12 weeks - to more than 100,000 signers.
Volunteers from around the state reported Mainers who said they'd had changes of heart since 2009. "I met a man today in Caribou, who told me he wouldn't have signed two years ago, but his daughter has now convinced him," said EqualityMaine Political Director Ali VanderZanden, who spent the day with volunteers in Aroostook County.
Smith said these changed minds are a result of the robust public education efforts by EqualityMaine and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and a broad coalition of other organizations, since Mainers voted to repeal a law allowing marriage for lesbian and gay couples in 2009.
The proposed initiative question reads, "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?"