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Equality Maine and GLAD announce effort to go back to the ballot on marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

The planned ballot language:

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?

Which is an interesting, positive light.

They will need to collect just over 57,000 signatures that are verified by the end of the year.

More from the Bangor Daily News.


  • 1. Ann S.  |  June 30, 2011 at 10:06 am


  • 2. jpmassar  |  June 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Video of announcement

  • 3. Gregory in SLC  |  June 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Mormon church trying to (sort of) stay out of politics….

  • 4. James Sweet  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I only support raising the debt ceiling as long as the bill includes language making it explicitly clear that eating babies is wrong. Otherwise, if we pass a bill raising the debt ceiling that DOESN'T include that, then it will be legal to eat babies!!!

  • 5. RAJ  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

    They haven't, as yet, almost a week after the vote, issued an official reaction to the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.

    New York being the birthplace of the "restoration" (if you're a faithful Mormon) and July 24th, first day of legalization –if all goes well– also being Pioneer Day for Mormons.

  • 6. celdd  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I noticed that July 24 is a Sunday. Will there be any special accomodations, or will July 25 be the effective date?

  • 7. RAJ  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Hmmm…good catch. I don't know, plus, I keep waiting for some sort of snag that might delay the actual first day.

  • 8. John  |  June 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Some clerks said they might open their offices on Sunday. Otherwise, people will have to wait until Monday.

  • 9. Sheryl_Carver  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I was born in Lewiston, Maine, & grew up in the nearby small town of Poland. Alhough I left the state when I joined the Air Force, I do try to keep tabs on what's going on, at least re: big issues. I just checked the Lewiston Sun-Journal's site & discovered to my amazement & delight that Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert SUPPORTS marriage equality!

    In the previous vote, Lewiston & Auburn (it's "twin" on the other side of the Androscoggin River) voted against equality. The 2 cities were in the top 10 of Maine's largest cities, & at the time I lived there, had a large Catholic population. So while I was disappointed in their vote, I was not surprised.

    But now Lewiston's mayor publicly SUPPORTS marriage equality! I don't know how this will turn out – I'm guessing there will be enough signatures to get to the ballot, but I am hoping my home state has finally "evolved" on this issue. If the fear-mongering & outright lies of NOM, the Catholic Church, & various other discriminatory groups can be dealt with, I am cautiously optimistic.

  • 10. AnonyGrl  |  June 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    The sad part is that it counteracts the lie told by the Bad Guys, but it does it in a way that reinforces the misunderstanding the lie rests on. I wish there were a way to say "Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples with the understanding that no religion or church would be required to perform such marriages if it was against their religious beliefs to do so, under religious protections clearly spelled out in existing federal law?"

    The way they are proposing it makes it sound like those protections are needed in the state laws, which they are not.

  • 11. James Sweet  |  June 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I agree completely, but I think the wording is a good call nonetheless. Remember, the people we are trying to convince already think it's okay for their religiously-based prejudices to be codified into law, so almost by definition they don't understand church/state separation. If they did, they wouldn't oppose marriage equality, even if they held bigoted religious beliefs. From a tactical perspective, it's better to just make it real simple for them, rather than trying to educate anyone on the implications of the First Amendment.

    Sorry, I'm a bit cynical sometimes I guess.

  • 12. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

    No, it is a valid point. And I suppose my comment was more of a lament that we CAN'T do it that way, that we NEED to cater to the uninformed, rather than educate them, which takes time and money we don't have, and a desire to understand how their own laws work which they don't have.

    Yes… it is good wording. It is just sad that it is needed.

  • 13. cr8nguy  |  June 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    "Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples with the understanding that no religion or church would be required to perform such marriages." …. I would leave it at that and skip the rest.

    IANAL….and I have an enormous respect for you, AnonyGrl, but I would cut it off there. I am not really fond of the official wording. It seems long and cumbersome. We need short and sweet and clear. Yours is much better. The more words, the greater chance of confusion. Most people hate reading those things anyway.

    just my 2 cents

  • 14. Joe  |  July 1, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Thats where you are incorrect AnonyGrl. Perhaps you forget the wedding photographer in New Mexico who was sued by a lesbian couple for refusing to photograph the commitment ceremony?

    "The United States Supreme Court has consistently held that "the right to free exercise
    does not relieve an individual ofthe obligation to comply with a 'valid and neutral law of general
    applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion
    prescribes (or proscribes). '" Employnlent Division. Department ofHuman Resources of Oregon
    v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 879 (1990)."

    So yes, these protections are needed in the state laws.

  • 15. Straight Dave  |  July 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I don't have nearly enough time or ink to get into this one as thoroughly as I would like to. But let me just say that there is a huge difference between a religion proscribing [prohibiting] homosexual behavior and that religion prescribing [requiring] discrimination against individuals outside that religion who do engage in it. This whole pile of crap about exemptions have nothing to do with free exercise of religion and everything to do with free exercise of discrimination. Any time an action (or lack thereof) impacts a neutral 3rd party, a big fat line has been crossed.

  • 16. Steve  |  July 1, 2011 at 7:55 am

    They are needed for churches performing weddings and NOTHING else

    Any business and institution that is open the public – no matter who owns it and how it is financed – needs to follow the law. During desegregation there weren't any special rights for racists either.

  • 17. Ann S.  |  July 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Joe, that photographer ran afoul of NM's anti-discrimination law. NM does not have marriage equality, so the case had nothing to do with marriage. Anti-discrimination laws should not be rolled back in the course of moving toward marriage equality.

  • 18. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

    RELIGIOUS institutions that have specific RELIGIOUS proscriptions against performing specific sacraments or allowing their property to be used for such sacraments are exempt from having to do so. Taking pictures of people is not a religious sacrament. As such, it is not covered by any religious protections.

    Refusing secular services based on personal religious prejudices is not protected by law. So no, the protections you suggest are not needed, nor would they be legal if they were put into law.

  • 19. AnonyGrl  |  June 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    My experience with people from the great state of Maine who are of a political bent is that they don't tend to let outsiders sway them. Maine seems to be pretty proud of their independent thought (again, just my experience). Seems to me that NOM could be brought down by that, if an in-state group were making SURE that everyone knew that NOM was an out-of-state group.

    Just a thought.

  • 20. James Sweet  |  June 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I agree completely, and said as much in the run-up to the last ballot in Maine. Getting votes is a tactical fight, not a strategic one, and when the other side has already gone nuclear, if you fail to escalate you will lose. Convincing people that marriage equality is a positive for Maine families is all fine and good, but it will only take you so far; the next step is to convince voters that the opposition is at least slightly more despicable than Hitler. In Maine, a good way to do that is play up the outsiders-messing-with-our-politics angle. I hope Equality Maine gets it right this time….

  • 21. Reformed  |  June 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    The problem with the "outsiders-messing" angle is that it is usually being asserted by someone parachuting in. 🙂

  • 22. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Which is why it needs to be Equality Maine or some other local group doing the shouting.

  • 23. bradmattan  |  June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    OT – but really exciting news for bi-national same sex couples.

  • 24. Gregory in SLC  |  June 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Interesting….yes, it is a curious dilemma to have TWO popular Mormon persons running for the Republican Presidential nominee! Like a sports rivalry (almost)

  • 25. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I'm confident that the margin will be better than a 47-53 loss, less so that it will be a full 4 percentage points. Then again, I had a feeling that the effort in New York would fall just a bit short, when in fact the momentum was with our side. Very bold step and I'll be keeping an eye on it.

  • 26. Adam Bink  |  June 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Remember to e-mail this to prop8trial at couragecampaign dot org. It helps our whole tech team see it. Thanks.

  • 27. jerimee  |  June 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Yeah I'm sorry – I'll take it down now – it doesn't work.

    Sorry to Alan and others for the inconvenience. It was worth a try.

  • 28. Rich  |  June 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    So, we in Maine, are at it again. This time I will not let NOM and the Diocese of Maine spread the lies and innuendo. Hence, my most recent post to Brian Brown…

    "Brian, Maggie et isn't about politics, party or principal; it never was. For NOM it has always been about hate and bigotry. The NOM comments, in response to the results of New York, confirm it. You have never really been concerned about kids or the protections of religious institutions…never. It was and continues to be your reprehensible behavior towards anyone in support of Marriage Equality. NOM has shown that it will rely on any lie, misinformation and obfuscation to appeal to those who are uninformed about the Constitution and its guarantee of Civil Rights for all citizens. You bedded down with the Catholic Church and the two of you sold your souls, not really to protect the "sanctity of marriage"…no, if that were your cause to celebrate, you would devote your monies to support strategies to aid those heading to divorce…but, rather, to, with a Cheshire Grin, profess to respect gay people but, ultimately to stab them in the back because Catholic Hierarchy and NOM, truthfully, have a visceral hatred for gay people. This is the message I am committed to spread wherever and whenever I can…be it local papers, Prop 8 Trial Tracker, national news outlets, you name it. And yet, how interesting that your own NOM blog site screens anyone with my opinions. You call for debate; you cannot take the heat. Finally, as long as you continue to send me your e-mails, I will respond accordingly, copy the text and post it to any other site that sees the bigotry in your posts. So…command cut, command v post…..

  • 29. Leo  |  July 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Somebody explain, please, how the process works?

    I tried to find out on my own from, and my current understanding is this:
    After signatures are collected, the initiative sponsors (EM/GLAD) get to write a law and send it to the legislature. The legislature can adopt it as is, completely reject it, or amend it. If the legislature adopts EM's wording without changes, it becomes law. (In this case, is it still subject to veto referendum?) If the legislature votes the law down, or doesn't act at all, or approves it but is vetoed by the governor, then EM's wording is placed on the ballot in 2012 for voter approval. If the legislature adopts the law in an amended form, the voters in 2012 get to choose between EM's version and the legislature's version. (In this case, do the voters have an option to reject both, or only to choose one of two?)

  • 30. Steve  |  July 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Why not? It's god's word

  • 31. Sheryl_Carver  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Well, god did say it's OK, but as a practical matter, they tend to be very feisty & basically unmanageable. 🙂

  • 32. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Now, Sheryl, that just makes me want one even MORE!


  • 33. DebbieC  |  July 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I’m against any ballot item where we voluntarily suggest our rights are something to be voted on. We have to stop playing their game by their rules. And if the H8 forces get something to the ballot play as dirty as they do – stop the fluffy bunny ads and create our own Daisy ads. The way to end this nonsense is to get it to the courts and legislature. We are fools to suggest bringing marriage to the ballot. End this constant bullying we are doing to ourselves by trying to convince voters we are human beings.

  • 34. Josh  |  July 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I like this comment, but I would also like to see us win at the ballot. I agree that our rights shouldn't be up to popular vote. nom keep saying let the people vote on this so I can't wait to read what they have to say once the people start voting for us. I just mostly wish this could get to the SCOTUS and have a verdict allowing marriage equality for the whole US at state and federal level so all the time and money spent on this issue is done.

  • 35. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I would ADORE a feisty dog, but sadly cannot. I have two feisty cats who would eat him.

    And a feisty landlord who would throw us all out in the snow. 🙁

    Good luck finding him a home though! And good for you for fostering. That is a great thing to do!

  • 36. fluegebuchung  |  March 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm

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