Thursday, June 30, 2011

As goes Maine...

Maine repealed marriage equality on November 3, 2009, with Question one. It was absolutely devastating. Keeping marriage in Maine was supposed to be the LGBTQ answer to Prop8 passing in California the year before. We failed, miserably.

Well, marriage equality is going back in front of the people of Maine, possibly as early as November 2012. From
The announcement comes after 18 months of ongoing public education and two new polls showing 53% of Mainers supporting marriage equality. This afternoon Methodist Pastor Michael Gray will submit the following language to the Sec. of State for review:
"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?"
By submitting language to the Secretary of State to put marriage on the ballot, EqualityMaine and GLAD begin the process of a citizen's initiative. Once the Sec. of State certifies the language, Equality Maine will then collect 57,277 signatures to get the question on the ballot in November.

Joining Pastor Gray at a press conference this morning is Betsey Smith, Equality Maine's executive director, as well as Lewiston Mayor Laurent F. Gilbert, and Michelle Mondor, a resident of Fort Fairfield, all of whom have evolved to support marriage equality. Smith explains:
"We changed hearts and minds during No on 1, and since then, many more Mainers have changed their hearts and continue to change their minds. We have been going door to door talking to them and hearing their journey towards support. In two separate polls conducted over the last five months, 53 percent of Mainers surveyed said they support letting gay and lesbian couples marry here."

This same Pastor, Michael Gray, speaks about his evolution on marriage equality in the video below.

With a GIANT win in New York and judiciously thorough religious protections placed in the language, Maine should pull through this time. Let's carry this momentum!

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