Maine Senate kills gay marriage bill, sends issue to voters

Posted March 14, 2012, at 2:09 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine voters will get their second chance since 2009 to decide whether the state should recognize marriage between same-sex couples.

The Senate on Wednesday went along with the House and voted to kill the citizen-initiated bill, sending it to voters this November.

In 2009, Maine voters repealed a legislatively passed gay marriage law 53 percent to 47 percent.

The latest effort to force a referendum comes after gay rights activists say many Mainers have changed their minds about the issue and are now willing to accept same-sex marriages.

Because the bill arises from the citizen initiative process, lawmakers had an option to pass it exactly as proposed or kill it, which sends it to voters.

The Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition says the Legislature has honored the will of voters.



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