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Maine expecting close race in upcoming gay marriage measure

Maine No on 1As Election Day nears, the national spotlight is on Maine, where the latest battle over same-sex marriage is under way.

Campaign finance reports show that supporters of a ballot proposal to repeal the state’s gay marriage law are trailing significantly in fundraising. But polls show a tight race.

Same-sex marriage opponents are telling Maine voters in television and radio ads that failure to repeal the law will have consequences for their children at school.

In ads similar to those that ran in California, a Massachusetts couple says that after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, their son came home from school and said he was taught that boys could marry other boys.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills said this week that she could find no connection between the same-sex marriage law and a requirement for public schools to teach kids about it. A recent poll of 401 likely Maine voters found that 61 percent of respondents did not believe same-sex marriage would be taught in school.

It also showed that there aren’t many voters on the fence.

“Most people have a set opinion on this,” says Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine. “So this campaign isn’t really to win hearts and minds, or to shape opinion.”

Instead, Brewer says, the ads are designed to rally opponents of same-sex marriage. While the latest poll gives an edge to same-sex marriage supporters, campaign organizers from both camps are expecting a close race.

More on this story from NPR.

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