2009 Maine Question 1

Last updated

Question 1: Citizen Initiative
People's Veto
An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
Results
ResponseVotes %
Yes check.svgYes300,84852.90%
X mark.svgNo267,82847.10%
Total votes568,676100.00%

2009 Maine Question 1 results map by county.svg

Maine Question 1 was a voter referendum conducted in Maine in the United States in 2009 that rejected a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. The measure passed 53–47% on November 3, 2009.

Contents

The outcome of the referendum was reversed three years later when voters approved 2012 Maine Question 1, which legalized same-sex marriage in the state again.

Legislation

In January 2009, a bill called "An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom" was introduced in the Maine Legislature. The bill would legalize same-sex marriage and force Maine to recognize other same-sex marriages that were performed out of state. However, the bill also specifies that religious institutions would not be forced into performing same-sex marriages and could deny them if it comes into conflict with their beliefs. [1] [2] [3]

On April 30, 2009, the Maine Senate rejected an amendment to put the issue up for a voter referendum 22–13 and passed the bill 21–14. [4] [5] On May 5, 2009, the Maine House of Representatives passed the bill 89–57, [6] [7] and on the following day, Governor John Baldacci signed the bill into law to take effect 90 days thereafter. [8] [9]

Ballot question efforts and fundraising

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. [10] 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. [11] 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 of the law had submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures and certified the ballot question for November. [12] [13]

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-same-sex-marriage group, was the primary contributor to Stand For Marriage Maine, the organization that led the "yes on Question 1" campaign. [14] NOM contributed over $1.6 million to Stand For Marriage Maine; by reports as of October 2009, NOM had contributed 63% of that group's funding. [15] [16]

Polling

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?" [17]

Date of opinion pollConducted by Sample size
(likely voters)
YesNoUndecidedMargin of Error
September 14–16, 2009 [18] Research 2000 60048%46%6%±4.0%
September 23–27, 2009 [19] Democracy Corps80841%50%9%±3.5%
September 30 – October 7, 2009 [20] Pan Atlantic40142.9%51.8%5.3%±4.9%
October 16–19, 2009 [21] Public Policy Polling 113048%48%4%±2.9%
October 20–22, 2009 [22] Pan Atlantic40042%53%4%±4.9%
October 26–28, 2009 [23] Research 2000 60047%48%5%±4.0%
October 31 – November 1, 2009 [24] Public Policy Polling 113351%47%2%±2.9%

Results

The referendum was held on November 3, 2009. Voting "Yes" on the referendum would repeal the law while voting "No" would uphold the law. [25] After the referendum ended, the results showed that 52.9% of voters voted yes on repealing the law while 47.1% of voters voted no. [17] [26]

Question 1: People's Veto
An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
ChoiceVotes %
Yes check.svg Yes300,84852.9
No267,82847.1
Total votes568,676100.00

Post-election

Reactions from campaigns

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." [27] The No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign conceded defeat two hours later. [28] Supporters of same-sex marriage pledged to continue the fight, while opponents said they would work to introduce a constitutional amendment to ban legal recognition of same-sex unions. [29]

Campaign finance lawsuits involving referendum proponents

In 2009, the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted, 3–2, to investigate the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for campaign finance violations; the Commission overrode the recommendation of their staff. Maine law required organizations soliciting more than $5,000 for ballot question campaigns to file disclosure reports. [30] NOM had contributed $1.6 million to Stand For Marriage Maine without filing any disclosure reports. [16] NOM filed suit, claiming that Maine's election laws violated the Constitution. [16] [30] The suit was unsuccessful; the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the challenged Maine election laws, [31] including the disclosure and reporting requirements for political action committees and ballot question committees. [32] The Supreme Court declined to hear further appeals from NOM. [33] [34]

Separately, in 2014, the Commission issued a $50,250 fine to NOM, [35] after investigators determined that the national NOM organization "intentionally set up its fundraising strategy to avoid disclosure laws" when it solicited donations for the clear purpose of aiding the 2009 Maine campaign. The Commission instructed NOM to file a campaign finance disclosure form (which would include the names of donors). [36] NOM unsuccessfully appealed in the state courts, and in August 2015, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied NOM's attempt for a stay on releasing the list while its case against a prior Ethics Commission ruling was pending. [37] [38] NOM paid the fine and disclosed its donors list that month. [38]

2012 referendum repealing 2009 referendum

On November 6, 2012, another referendum was held on whether to legalize same-sex marriage' [39] 53% of voters voted yes, thus overturning the 2009 Maine Question 1 referendum, and marking the first success for same-sex marriage in a ballot measure. [40]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Same-sex marriage in Washington has been legally recognized since December 6, 2012. On February 13, 2012, Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation that established full marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state of Washington. Opponents mounted a challenge that required voters to approve the statute at a referendum, which they did on November 6. The law took effect on December 6, and the first marriages were celebrated on December 9. Within a couple of days, more than 600 marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in King County alone.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is an American non-profit political organization established to work against the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. It was formed in 2007 specifically to pass California Proposition 8, a state prohibition of same-sex marriage. The group has opposed civil union legislation and gay adoption, and has fought against allowing transgender individuals to use bathrooms that accord with their gender identity. Brian S. Brown has served as the group's president since 2010.

Same-sex marriage in Maine has been legally recognized since December 29, 2012. A bill for the legalization of same-sex marriages was approved by voters, 53–47 percent, on November 6, 2012, as Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Election results were certified by the Maine Secretary of State's office and the Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, on November 29.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2009 Washington Referendum 71</span> LGBT rights referendum

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">LGBT rights in Maine</span>

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Maine enjoy the same rights as non-LGBT people, including the ability to marry and adopt. Same-sex marriage has been recognized in Maine since December 2012, following a referendum in which a majority of voters approved an initiative to legalize same-sex marriage. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. In addition, the use of conversion therapy on minors has been outlawed since 2019.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2015 Maine Question 1</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">June 2018 Maine Question 1</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2016 Maine Question 5</span> Citizen-initiated referendum question

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 Maine Question 1</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2016 Maine Question 3</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Maine Question 1</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">2020 Maine Question 1</span> Peoples veto referendum on reversing removal of religious and philosophical vaccination exemptions

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References

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