Two longtime opponents of gay-rights and same-sex marriage initiatives have formed a political action committee to oppose this year’s same-sex marriage proposal in Maine.

Michael Heath and Paul Madore said Tuesday that they have formed the No Special Rights PAC to oppose November’s ballot measure asking voters if same-sex marriage should be legalized.

Heath and Madore have held leadership roles since the early 1990s opposing gay-rights and gay-marriage initiatives in Maine.

Heath was executive director of the Christian Civic League for 15 years until his resignation in 2009, and Madore once led a group called the Maine Grassroots Coalition, which opposed sexual orientation laws.

Madore said he’s ready to “take off the gloves” in the campaign leading up to November’s referendum.

“It’s going to be a fight,” he said.

Heath’s and Madore’s entry into the campaign isn’t surprising, given their active roles opposing past gay-rights initiatives, said David Farmer, spokesman for the Dirigo Family PAC, which supports the gay-marriage proposal.

Although Heath and Madore have been known to use sharp rhetoric, Farmer said, gay-marriage supporters want to keep the debate “reasonable” this time.

“Our goal throughout the campaign is to be respectful of people with differing views and to make our argument that same-sex couples should be able to enter into the same type of committed and responsible relationship as other couples.”

Three years ago, the Legislature passed a law allowing same-sex marriage in Maine but opponents sent the question to voters, who overturned the law 53 percent to 47 percent.

This year, gay-marriage supporters turned in enough signatures from registered voters to put the matter to another vote. If Mainers approve gay marriage this year, the state will be the first to do so by popular vote.

As the name implies, the goal of the No Special Rights PAC is to convince voters that allowing members of the same sex to get married amounts to “special rights,” Heath said.

“There’s no basis in nature for a right to sodomy or a right to call two men or two women who are choosing to relate to one another sexually as a marriage,” he said. “There’s no intrinsic or natural right to that. So we believe that these are special rights.”

The PAC has yet to raise any money, and the amount raised will determine what it does during the campaign, Heath said.

It’s too early to speculate what kind of impact the PAC might have, Farmer said.

“At this point, we’re not aware of their strategy or the tactics they’ll use, or whether Mr. Heath will be a successful fundraiser or a spokesman,” Farmer said. “We just don’t know how he’ll fit in with the opposition.”