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Maine to be First State to Legalize Gay Marriage at the Ballot?

Maine to be First State to Legalize Gay Marriage at the Ballot?


New data from Public Policy Polling suggests that Maine may be on course for legalizing same-sex marriage at the November ballot.

Via the PPP website:

It looks like Maine voters will reverse their 2009 decision and legalize gay marriage in the state this fall. 54% think that gay marriage should be legal to only 41% who think it should be illegal. And when we asked about the issue using the exact language voters will see on the ballot this fall, they say they’re inclined to support the referendum by a 47-32 margin.

Of course, there are some caveats to this. We know that there is a certain disparity between how voters say they will vote and the actual votes they cast at the ballot. However the margin of support versus opposition is quite wide here and so this may absorb some of that disparity. The research did suggest there might be some confusion relating to the ballot question however:

There’s some indication that the exact ballot language is confusing people a little at this point. Only 67% of those who support gay marriage in general say they’ll vote yes while 12% say they’ll not and 21% are not sure. At the same time just 60% of those who oppose gay marriage generally say they’ll vote against the proposed referendum, while 24% say they’ll vote for it and 16% are not sure. My guess is at the end of the day voters will see this as a straight referendum on gay marriage regardless of what the language on the ballot says- and the 54/41 number bodes well for pro-equality voters.

Republican opinion with a majority against same-sex marriage has remained steady since 2009 but the poll found that Democratic support has increased from 71% to 78%, while  independents have gone from voting against gay marriage 52/46 three years ago to now supporting it by a 57/36 margin.

“It looks like Maine will reverse its 2009 vote on gay marriage this fall,” DeanDebnam, President of Public Policy Polling is quoted as saying in the report. “That’s symbolic of the shift in publicopinion that’s occurred on this issue over the last few years.”

This polling data is consistent with previous findings showing that support hovers around the 53% mark, the same margin that rejected same-sex marriage in 2009.

Advocacy groups recently were told they had submitted 85, 216 verified signatures, far exceeding the 57,272 that was required to put the issue on the ballot.

If Maine was to legalize same-sex marriage in this manner it would be the first state in the U.S. to do so.

According to the American Independent, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has already pledged $32,000 to try to defeat the marriage equality effort.

Read the full polling data here (.pdf).


Related Reading:

Maine Next Hope for Gay Marriage?

Pastor on Gay Marriage: There’s No Us and Them

Denny’s Implementing Trans-Friendly Restroom Policy

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to sullivan.

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8:03PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

I made a video about why Homosexuals should have equal rights.

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil Homophobes.

5:49PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

For those of you against gay marriage, I am truly interested in how it affects you. How does it actually affect your life one way or the other? Truly, what business is it of yours?

4:29PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Despite the screeching from religious zealots, same-sex marriage WILL be a reality and sooner, rather than later.

2:46PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Equal rights are human rights and should never be denied to anybody.

1:29PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Agree with Rosanna; when this becomes national policy we can finally move on with other issues. In the meantime, come on, Maine! Move forward with the basic civil rights!

10:32AM PST on Mar 9, 2012


9:15AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

I am herosexual, and I believe in having gay marriage it is a personal choice. They have the same problems as any other couple, so why not marriage? They will have to divorce the same as the so called normal marriage rights. People love each other for all reasons, who are we to deny rights to any couple. Any sex. Just like abortion I agree a woman should have control over her own body, I don't think it should be a source of birth control but accidents do happen.

8:52AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

I don't get why this is so complicated. Domestic policy is handled by the government. The church of any religion has every right to deny preforming the ceremonies, whether you think that is fair or not. The LGBT community has every legal right to get married legally, whether you think that is fair or not. I don't know why we even have to vote on this. As a human being you have a right to a legal marriage with another human being and in some states multiple human beings with the same right. Church does not dictate legal policy, government does not dictate church ceremony. It's really quite black and white on this matter.

8:30AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Back in the early days of Christianity, before the false prophets completely took over, gay marriage was not only accepted but sanctified by the church, along with many other types of marriage that modern day "fundamentalist" Christians oppose.

Guess what, Fundys, your arguments hold no water and are completely devoid of fact.

8:11AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

It's about time Maine joined (almost) the rest of New England. Now bitty tiny Rhode Island needs to step up!

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