Gay marriage group exceeds petition goal in Maine

Posted Nov. 09, 2011, at 6:06 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Gay marriage supporters in Maine have surpassed their goal for petitions to be used if they decide to press forward with another referendum next year.

Betsy Smith of EqualityMaine says 396 volunteers collected more than 36,000 signatures on Election Day, bringing the total number to 100,000. That’s more than enough petitions to get gay marriage onto the statewide ballot if the group chooses to do so. Smith says the group will make its decision on a referendum in January.

Maine is the only state in New England that doesn’t allow either gay marriage or civil unions. Maine lawmakers approved a gay marriage law, but it was overturned by a statewide referendum in 2009.

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