AUGUSTA — It's official: Mainers will get the chance to vote this fall on a law enacted by the Legislature allowing same-sex marriage.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announced Wednesday afternoon that 60,391 signatures of the more than 100,000 that were turned in were certified by his office. Dunlap said they stopped certifying after the necessary threshold of 55,087 signatures was met. The governor has signed an official proclamation, ensuring the question will be on the ballot.
The official question, which will appear as Question 1, will read, "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?"
Campaigns have been gearing up on both sides in anticipation of a successful petition effort. Fundraising, phone-banking and advertising is expected to continue leading up to the Nov. 3 election.
The law, which was scheduled to take effect in mid-September, will be suspended until after the election. Dunlap said if the law is upheld, it will take effect after the vote is certified, sometime in late November.
Maine is the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage, but the first to have the Legislature pass a bill, which was signed by the governor, and without judiciary involvement. If the law stands, it would be the first state where voters statewide approve a same-sex marriage law. Last fall in California a same-sex marriage law was overturned by citizens.