In May, Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D) signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying “you can’t allow discrimination to stand when it’s raised to your level.” Opponents of same-sex marriage immediately vowed to pursue a public referendum to overturn the law. Maine election officials announced today that the ant-gay activists have succeeded in putting the law on the November ballot:
Election officials announced Wednesday that gay marriage foes surpassed the threshold of signatures necessary to put the state law on the November ballot, setting the stage for a furious, two-month campaign that’ll determine whether the number of states allowing same-sex nuptials shrinks to five.
Maine’s gay marriage law was supposed to go into effect on Sept. 12, but it was put on hold while the secretary of state’s office verified the number of signatures. With the signatures validated, Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday signed a formal proclamation putting the gay marriage law to a statewide vote Nov. 3.
“I fully support this legislation and believe it guarantees that all Maine citizens are treated equally under our state’s civil marriage laws,” Baldacci said. “But I also have a constitutional obligation to set the date for the election once the secretary of state has certified that enough signatures have been submitted.”