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Maine Anti-gay marriage effort advances: Officials OK petition question to reject law ^ | 5-20-2009 | By Judy Harrison BDN Staff

Posted on 05/24/2009 7:17:05 PM PDT by Maelstorm

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine election officials on Tuesday approved the question that would appear on the ballot if opponents of the recently enacted same-sex marriage law collect enough signatures.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced that the question that will appear on petitions is “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”

Groups seeking to overturn the law, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland; the Maine Family Policy Council of Maine, formerly the Christian Civic League of Maine; and Maine Marriage Initiative could begin circulating petitions seeking to put the question on the ballot as early as Friday.

“We most likely won’t have petitioners out until after Memorial Day,” the Rev. Bob Emrich of the Maine Marriage Initiative said Tuesday afternoon. “We have to get petitions printed and distributed around the state. We also want to make sure that folks are properly trained in circulating petitions.”

Marc Mutty, director of public policy for the Catholic diocese, said he expected petitions would be available at weekend Masses by May 30 and 31 or June 6 and 7.

To place the question on a statewide ballot, petitioners must gather 55,087 valid signatures of registered voters.

The goal, Emrich said, is to put the question on the Nov. 3 ballot. To do that, however, organizers of the people’s veto effort would have to submit the petitions to Dunlap’s office by Aug. 1 because the ballot must be printed 45 days before the election. Election officials would have 30 days to verify that enough valid signatures were obtained and certify the petitions so the question could go on the ballot.

If not enough signatures were gathered by Aug. 1, petitioners still would have until 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature — scheduled for June 17 — to submit them. It then would be up to lawmakers to decide whether the repeal question would go on the ballot in June or November of 2010.

Groups that support same-sex marriage and lobbied for the bill’s passage said after the ballot question was announced that they are sure voters will not repeal the new law.

“We are confident that Maine people will vote to uphold this law, which grants equality to all Maine couples, and we are looking forward to continuing the conversation with Maine people about the importance of this new law,” Betsy Smith, executive director of Equality Maine, said Tuesday in a press release. “Tens of thou-sands of Maine voters have already shown their support for marriage equality.” She apparently was referring to postcards that supporters of same-sex marriage gathered at polling places in Maine last June.

Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, pointed out that LD 1020, the gay marriage legislation sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, had 60 co-sponsors.

“We have been very moved by the level of support for marriage equality that we encountered during the drive to pass the legislation,” she said. “We are confident that Mainers, if they are asked to vote on it, will back the new law. We will be talking with people, neighbor to neighbor, from Kittery to Aroostook [County], and we are confident we will prevail.”

On May 6 Gov. John Baldacci signed LD 1020 — which allows same-sex couples to marry in Maine and exempts religious institutions from having to perform the ceremonies — into law after the measure passed the Senate by a 21-13 vote and the House 89-57.

Groups seeking to overturn the law through the people’s veto process filed the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office the day after the governor signed the bill. The filing of the application for petitions stayed the enactment of the law, so same-sex couples will have to wait to get married until after voters have a chance to weigh in on the question.

“This isn’t an easy process,” Dunlap said in a statement Tuesday, referring to the drafting of a ballot question. “We draw on suggestions from supporters of the veto as well as opponents, from the Attorney General’s office, and from volunteers who give their expertise on the Ballot Clarity Advisory Board.

“The goal we’re seeking is informing a voter who may be unfamiliar with the subject matter, but who cares enough to make an informed vote, what the net effect would be of a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote,” he said.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; marriage; me2009; protectmarriage; samesexmarriage; support; traditional
Maine Needs help. This is about the future and integrity of the culture of Maine and also this country. We need to push back against sexual activists that see this not as the end but as the beginning in reshaping the very culture which includes radical ideas such as treating all children as gender variant, using public schools to indoctrinate kids as young as 5 about two mommies / two daddies and using anti-bullying curriculum to produce an environment where kids are encouraged to identify themselves early as homosexual and intimidate anyone who thinks it is inappropriate from speaking out. We need to unite state by state and organization by organization to turn back this tide by standing up and saying enough is enough.
1 posted on 05/24/2009 7:17:06 PM PDT by Maelstorm
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To: Maelstorm

This isn’t going to be pretty.

2 posted on 05/24/2009 7:26:04 PM PDT by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
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To: Maelstorm

Here’s a look at your future,Maine,if you DON’T vote against gay “marriage”!

What same-sex “marriage” has done to Massachusetts

Queering the Schools

It’s 1984 in Massachusetts - And Big Brother Is Gay

“The Little Black Book - Queer in the 21st Century”
This booklet was distributed to hundreds of kids (middle school age and up) at Brookline High School, Brookline, MA.

Students Given Graphic Instruction In Homosexual Sex

3 posted on 05/24/2009 7:30:57 PM PDT by massmike
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To: armymarinemom

There is nothing pretty about it. As an atheist friend of mine said that for him opposition to gay marriage had nothing to do with religion but whether or not he wanted the culture remade in the mode of San Fransisco.

4 posted on 05/24/2009 7:38:27 PM PDT by Maelstorm (Those that have nothing to hide welcome debate.)
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To: massmike

If Big Brother is Gay, then the Antichrist will be Gay.

5 posted on 05/24/2009 7:40:05 PM PDT by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: Maelstorm

As someone newly returned to Maine, I’m glad to see this. I’ll do everything I can to overturn this monstrosity.

6 posted on 05/24/2009 7:54:43 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo (Earth - Taking care of itself since 4.6 billion BC)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Morgana


8 posted on 05/24/2009 8:07:11 PM PDT by massmike
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Morgana
10 posted on 05/24/2009 8:38:10 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - Obama is basically Jim Jones with a teleprompter)
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To: Maelstorm
I'm not sure I understand this issue, and maybe some Mainers can shed some light. Is this just a petition for the voters to invalidate the recently passed legislation to make same-sex "marriage" legal? Is this not a marriage protection amendment to the Maine Constitution? If not, can't the legislature just go through the process again and approve fake marriage through another bill?

I understand that there was a push in Maine in the past couple of years to enact a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, but either the legislature wouldn't support it, or there was not enough citizen support in the petition process to get it going. If citizens can pass this vote, to invalidate the recent legislation, why can't they get an amendment passed?

11 posted on 05/24/2009 10:08:04 PM PDT by fwdude ("...a 'centrist' ... has few principles - and those are negotiable." - Don Feder)
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To: Morgana

I don’t pick and choose my allies. I agree with you about religion but I do not agree that one has to be religious to be opposed to sexual activism. That was my point. I also have many Buddhist friends and Hindu friends who are very much opposed to homosexuality. I want to debunk the false idea that opposition to sexual activism is only a religious concern. It is not. Homosexuals have been using the idea that it is religion and not science that opposes them. We need to refute that.

12 posted on 05/24/2009 11:00:41 PM PDT by Maelstorm (Those that have nothing to hide welcome debate.)
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To: fwdude

Well the lawmakers could try to pass it again but that would be a big political risk. Like in California it is likely to increase the backlash against them and the homosexual movement.

13 posted on 05/24/2009 11:02:24 PM PDT by Maelstorm (Those that have nothing to hide welcome debate.)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Maelstorm

The great part is that the implementation of this law is stayed until the voters vote. Why couldn’t California take that commonsense approach?

Oh, never mind.

15 posted on 05/25/2009 6:13:55 PM PDT by fwdude
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To: fwdude

Why do some states like CT not have a constitutional referendum? I’d like to see a national constitutional referendum that can be used to over rule the Supreme Court.

16 posted on 05/25/2009 7:32:50 PM PDT by Maelstorm (Those that have nothing to hide welcome debate.)
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