Gay marriage supporters in Maine began running a television advertisement statewide Thursday, featuring gay and straight Mainers talking about the importance of equality. It is the first television advertisement in an anticipated referendum on Maine’s gay marriage law.
Maine’s gay marriage law was scheduled to take effect on September 11, but it’s been sidetracked as state election officials verify petitions submitted to force a statewide referendum.
Last May, Gov. John Baldacci signed into a law a bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry. Immediately, groups launched a people’s veto effort to gather the signatures necessary to put the issue before voters in November. The Secretary of State’s Office is in the process of verifying the signatures to determine whether Mainers will be asked if they would like to overturn the new law.
The law will be stayed and a November election called if state election officials certify the signatures of at least 55,087 registered voters. Gay marriage opponents say they collected more than 100,000 signatures. If validated, enactment of the law will be delayed pending ballot results.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Equality Maine Foundation, and the Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation sponsored the ad, seen here: