Marriage equality officially back on the ballot in Maine

The Maine Secretary of State has confirmed that EqualityMaine and the coalition behind the push for marriage equality in Maine has collected nearly 85,216 signatures to put marriage back on the ballot in 2012. That’s nearly 28,000 more signatures than required by law. From the Portland Press Herald:

Lawmakers have the option of passing the bill as proposed, but they likely will send it to voters in November. Advocates of same-sex marriage, who lost in 2009 at the ballot box in a 53-47 percent vote, say enough Mainers have changed their minds that the measure will pass this time.

“The story of the 2012 campaign is not going to be gay folk coming out and supporting this, it’s going to be heterosexuals like myself coming out in support of gay marriage,” said Michael Gray, pastor of the Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church. “We’re now realizing how important it is for us to speak up.”

EqualityMaine reports that polling now shows that 54% of Maine citizens are supportive of equality. Marriage was defeated in 2009 by a 53-47 percent vote.

Based on reporting, it appears that once again the opposition will be led by Bishop Richard Malone of the Catholic Diocese, Bob Emrich of the Christian Civic League and the National Organization for Marriage.

Born and raised in Maine, Nick Seaver moved to DC to study political communication in 2003. He began writing extensively on LGBT rights during the first ballot initiative in Maine that overturned marriage equality. He writes about a variety of issues, ranging from marriage to issues facing LGBT youth. Follow him on Twitter at @NDSeaver.

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