Gay marriage was put to a vote in Maine on Tuesday in a closely watched referendum that gay-rights activists across the country hoped would prove for the first time that their cause can prevail at the ballot box. Voters had to decide whether to repeal or affirm a state law that would allow gay couples to wed. The law was passed by the Legislature in May but never took effect because of a petition drive by conservatives. Early returns showed a close contest, as had been forecast.
2012 Maine Question 1
Maine Same-Sex Marriage Question, Question 1 () - Ballotpedia
Maine Question 1 was a voter referendum on an initiated state statute that occurred November 6, The question that appeared on the ballot was: "Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? The law took effect on December 29, A people's veto referendum to reject the law passed 53 to 47 percent, invalidating the law before it took effect. Under Maine's constitution a valid initiative must be sent to the voters unless enacted in the proposed form by the Legislature at the same session during which it was presented.
Maine Gay Marriage Referendum: Results, Updates
One year after California's Proposition 8 struck down gay marriage in the largest state in the Union, Maine has become the latest battleground in the debate over the definition of marriage. Maine could become the first state to endorse gay marriage by popular referendum Tuesday, as voters head to the polls to decide whether to repeal a recently passed law legalizing unions between people of the same gender. One year after California's Proposition 8 struck down gay marriage in the largest state in the Union, this sparsely populated New England state has become the latest battleground in the debate over the definition of marriage, offering supporters of same-sex marriage the chance for a political breakthrough and giving opponents an opening to thwart gay rights advances in the heart of the deep-blue Northeast. John Baldacci signed a bill passed by Democratic majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U. The referendum was a reversal of action on a similar bill three years earlier. On May 6, , a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maine was signed into law by Governor John Baldacci following legislative approval. Vermont was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage by statute, but its Legislature did so by overriding its Governor 's veto. Both U.