Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Referendum aims to undo gay rights | News Update: Referendum aims to undo gay rights

By Ann S. Kim Portland Press Herald Staff Writer
April 09, 2008 03:13 PM

AUGUSTA – Marriage would be limited to heterosexual couples and civil unions would be prohibited under a referendum being pursued by the Christian Civic League of Maine.

Under the proposed legislation, same-sex couples would not be allowed to adopt, sexual orientation would be removed from the Maine Human Rights Act and funding for the civil rights teams in the Attorney General’s Office would be eliminated.

Michael Heath, the organization’s executive director, initiated the process last week. The effort will need to gather 55,087 signatures – a figure equal to 10 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election – within 18 months of the issuance of an approved petition by the Secretary of State.

In 2005, voters supported a state law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 1998 and 1990, voters had opposed gay-rights laws.

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