Maine Rejects Gay Marriage – Measure Barely Squeaks By
Voters in Maine rejected a measure passed just six months ago by the state legislature and signed by the Governor. Most gay-rights activists were hoping that moderate, independent-minded Maine voters would endorse same-sex marriage in a statewide ballot. Following legislation and court orders, gay marriages took effect in Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Same-sex marriage advocates had hope Maine would follow and extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Maine instead, joins a list of 30 other states in the country to oppose gay unions by popular vote. New York and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but do not grant them.
Gay marriage supporters say this vote likely won’t be the last on the matter. The Protect Maine Equality group says the referendum is likely headed for a statewide recount. Even though both sides spent millions on rallies, phone calls, e-mails and ads in the days leading up to the vote, the pro-gay-marriage group will still have to pay to request the recount. The Maine secretary of state’s office will likely take several weeks to complete the recount and certify the results. The split was 53 against and 47 for same-sex marriage with 87% of precincts reporting.
Gay-marriage opponents had claimed that public schools would begin teaching children about unions between same-sex couples if the law were allowed to stand. The law was put on hold after conservatives started a petition and a drive to repeal it by referendum. Attempts to legalize gay marriage have lost in every single state where has been put to a vote.