Monday, August 22, 2011

Brody's Notes... First Day Push In Maine Garners Over Five Thousand Signatures

By Brody Levesque | PORTLAND, MAINE -- The organisers of the effort to reclaim marriage equality in Maine, lost after a ballot referendum in 2010 rescinded a same-sex marriage law passed by the state's legislature and signed by the former governor after anti-gay opposition groups won that vote by 52.8%, are predicting that the efforts underway to restore same-sex marriage in Maine are off to a positive start.
A spokesperson for Equality Maine said that same-sex marriage supporters in Maine gathered more than 5,000 signatures during the first official day of petition-gathering. The organisation focused its first day efforts on summer festivals in the cities of Portland, Kennebunk, Biddeford, York, Bangor, Ellsworth and Brunswick on Saturday. In a count on Sunday, Equality Maine put the tally at around 5,200.
"We're finding that Mainers are changing their minds on this issue -- and that's going to continue through November of 2012," said Betsy Smith, executive director for EqualityMaine, one day after Secretary of State Charlie Summers approved the language last Wednesday for the citizen-initiative petitions.
Equality Maine will need to collect at least 57,277 voters' signatures by Jan. 30, 2012 in order to qualify to put the measure on the 2012 ballot. The new bill would first go to the Legislature, which would have an option to pass it.