Maine Question 1, 2009
|Elections in Maine|
The outcome of the referendum was reversed by Maine voters three years later when voters approved Maine Question 1, 2012, which legalized same-sex marriage in the state again.
In January 2009, a bill to allow same-sex couples to legally marry in Maine was introduced in the Maine Legislature. On April 30, 2009, the Senate rejected an amendment to put the issue up for a voter referendum 22–13 and passed the bill 21–14. On May 5, 2009, the Maine House of Representatives passed the bill 89–57, and on the following day, Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill into law to take effect 90 days thereafter.
Ballot question efforts
On May 7, 2009, opponents of the law filed the necessary paperwork to launch a campaign to put the law up for a vote in the November elections, giving them until 90 days after the legislature adjourned to collect at least 55,087 valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot. In June 2009, Stand for Marriage Maine, the coalition group leading the veto effort, announced it had hired Schubert Flint Public Affairs, which had worked on the Proposition 8 effort in California, to handle public relations for the veto effort. In July 2009, No on 1/Protect Maine Equality was formed to oppose the veto. On September 2, 2009, the Secretary of State of Maine verified that the opponents had submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures and certified the ballot question for November.
Question 1 asked: "Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"
- A Yes vote takes away the ability of same-sex couples to marry.
- A No vote keeps the ability of same-sex couples to marry.
|Date of opinion poll||Conducted by||Sample size
|Yes||No||Undecided||Margin of Error|
|14–16 September 2009||Research 2000||600||48%||46%||6%||±4.0%|
|23–27 September 2009||Democracy Corps||800||41%||50%||9%||±3.5%|
|30 September – 7 October 2009||Pan Atlantic||401||42.9%||51.8%||5.3%||±4.9%|
|16–19 October 2009||Public Policy Polling||1130||48%||48%||4%||±2.9%|
|20–22 October 2009||Pan Atlantic||400||42%||53%||4%||±4.9%|
|26–28 October 2009||Research 2000||600||47%||48%||5%||±4.0%|
|31 October – 1 November 2009||Public Policy Polling||1133||51%||47%||2%||±2.9%|
The question posed on the ballot was, "Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?" A vote of "Yes" would repeal the law, while a vote of "No" would uphold the law. The vote was held on November 3, 2009.
Just after midnight on election night, consultant Frank Schubert of Stand for Marriage Maine declared, "The institution of marriage has been protected in Maine and across this nation." The No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign conceded defeat two hours later. Supporters of same-sex marriage pledged to continue the fight, while opponents said they would work to introduce a constitutional amendment to keep marriage between one man and one woman.
A legal battle continued as the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices attempts to force the National Organization for Marriage to respond to subpoenas for the names of its donors in connection with the referendum. The Commission has won consistently in both state and federal courts, most recently on May 29, 2013. On August 4, 2015, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied an attempt by the National Organization for Marriage for a stay on releasing the list while its case against a prior Ethics Commission ruling was pending. On August 24, the Donors list was released. Donations were as follows:
|Knights of Columbus||$140,000|
|Unitemized (less that $100 each)||$5,279|
- Bill would allow same-sex marriage in Maine
- Battle over gay marriage shifts to Maine
- State Senate backs gay-marriage bill
- Maine Senate Backs Same-Sex Marriage
- Maine House Votes To Pass Gay Marriage Bill
- Maine House passes gay marriage bill
- Maine takes step toward approving gay marriage
- Yvonne Abraham (2009-05-06). "Gay marriage law signed in Maine, advances in N.H". Boston.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Governor Signs LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
- "People's Veto Drive Initiated". Wabi.tv. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Maine gay marriage foes hire Calif. Prop 8 firm". Guardian. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Gay marriage repeal on ballot
- People's Veto of Bill to Allow Same-sex Marriage Certified by Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap for November Ballot
- ME-Init: Gay marriage all tied up, heading into November
- Democracy Corps - Maine
- "Poll: 51.8% plan to vote no on question 1 | Maine News Updates". Updates.pressherald.mainetoday.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Maine split on gay marriage question
- Swanson, Emily (2009-10-26). "Political Surveys and Election Polls, Trends, Charts and Analysis". Pollster.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- ME-Init: Still tied
- TABOR Going Down, Gay Marriage Still Close
- "Question ready for petition against gay marriage". Updates.mainetoday.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Same-sex marriage supporters concede defeat". Updates.pressherald.mainetoday.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Fight goes on over marriage". Pressherald.com. 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Backers of same-sex marriage pledge to keep up Maine fight
- Long, Robert (May 30, 2013). "Maine high court rejects appeal to shield names of donors to campaign against gay marriage". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Cousins, Christopher (August 24, 2015). "National Organization for Marriage files 2009 donors list". Maine Sun Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions - November 3, 2009 General Election Tabulations
- No on 1/Protect Maine Equality (campaign in favor of marriage for same-sex couples and against changing Maine's current marriage statute, supports a No vote on the ballot)
- Stand For Marriage Maine (campaign against marriage for same-sex couples and in favor of changing Maine's current marriage statute, supports a Yes vote on the ballot)
- Televised debate between the "Yes on 1" and "No on 1" campaigns