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Maine gay marriage opponents collect enough signatures to get issue on November ballot

Jessica Geen July 9, 2009

Gay marriage opponents in Maine say they have already collected enough signatures opposing the new law to get the issue on the November ballot.

They had 90 days to collect 55,000 signatures opposing the law which made Maine the fifth US state to legalise gay marriage, after Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa.

This means the law will be put on hold until November, rather than coming into effect on September 12th.

It is expected that the issue will be put to the vote in November, rather than waiting until 2010.

Stand for Marriage has said it will continue collecting signatures as “additional insurance”.

Group chairman Mark Mutty said: “In just four weeks, we’ve gathered more than 55,000 signatures from Mainers who believe they, not the legislature and governor, should have the final say on the definition of marriage.

“There has been an extraordinary outpouring of support from voters across the state. This response gives us momentum that will lift us over the first hurdle of putting the issue before the people and, ultimately, carry us to victory in November.”

In May, Betsy Smith of EqualityMaine, admitted that the pro-gay marriage lobby in the state may face fundraising issues but added that campaigners would fight any attempt to repeal the bill.

Maine governor John Baldacci signed gay marriage into law on May 6th, after previously opposing it.

More: Americas

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