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Maine petition gathers signatures to put gay marriage back on the ballot

Proponents of gay marriage in Maine gathered the 75,000 petition signatures required to put the issue on the November 2012 ballot.

Equality Maine led the petition drive in August for a ballot initiative that would ask the following question:

“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?”

There were more than 100,000 signatures collected to add the resolution to the upcoming ballot; however, Equality Maine representatives said they will make a decision about whether or not to include the referendum in January 2012.

Maine is the only New England state that does not allow civil unions or same-sex marriage. Gay marriage was legalized in May 2009, but it was overturned in a ballot referendum in November of the same year. The bill was struck down by voters with a 52 percent majority. Recent polls indicate that support for gay marriage has increased drastically.

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