Gay Marriage Opponents File For People’s Veto in Maine
Posted on May 8, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Just one day after Governor John Baldacci signed a bill to legalize same-sex marriages in Maine, opponents are gearing up for a possible repeal. They’ve filed an application with the Secretary of State’s Office to attempt a people’s veto.
A people’s veto would give Maine voters statewide the chance to decide for themselves whether or not they want to legalize gay marriage. Now that opponents have filed an application for a people’s veto, the Secretary of State has to come up with the wording for the question. And then opponents have to gather enough valid signatures, at least 55,087 of them, to qualify the measure for the ballot.
The Jeremiah Project and the Catholic Diocese of Portland are jointly running the campaign. “I think that the vast majority of people are not supportive of what has happened here,” says Marc Mutty, Director of Public Affairs for Maine’s Catholic Diocese. “We certainly see the churches as being our base and our largest base for gathering signatures. But we see us extending our effort beyond that. And it may be door-to-door, fairs, church fairs, county fairs, whatever it may be, whatever is available.”Organizers of the people’s veto have a deadline of 90 days after the Legislature adjourns to turn in the required signatures. Right now the Legislature’s statutory adjournment is June 17th.
In order to make the required deadline for this November’s ballot, which is the goal, the campaign will have to work more quickly, and turn in their signatures by the first week of August. That would allow time for Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to certify them. “And then the governor would have to do a proclamation, which he cannot do less than 60 days before the election; and then from there we would have to produce ballots and get them out at least 45 days before the election so people can vote absentee,” Dunlap says.Dunlap says opponents can start circulating their petitions as soon as he determines the proper wording of the question. “Ultimately, it is my discretion to write the question. We do solicit suggestions from the proponents. We have access to a volunteer group called the “Ballot Clarity Group” that can
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