Friday September 21, 2012 | 02:26 PM

The Maine Public Health Association announced today that it supports Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot, which would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"The link between positive health indicators and the ability of same-sex couples to wed has been well documented," Tina Pettingill, executive director of the group, said in a statement. "Because of this scientific link, MPHA supports voting Yes on One this November."

The group referenced three studies -- two from 2006 and one from 2009 -- as evidence that it's beneficial to same-sex couples if they get the same type of legal recognition as other couples. The studies were published by the Journal of Counseling Psychology (2009); the Oxford University Press (2006) and Pediatrics (2006).

The Maine public health group cited the Pediatrics article for indicating that children would benefit from same-sex marriage too.

"Passing Maine's marriage equality law would benefit children raised by same-sex parents, specifically around their parents' rights to adoption, hospital visitation, health insurance and family leave," the group writes. "Enacting these benefits would improve the quality of life for thousands of same-sex couples and their families in Maine."

Opponents have said they are worried about the impact of same-sex marriage on children, citing different studies to back their beliefs. A recent fund raising appeal headlined "Our Children Will Suffer" references "a wide range of social science data" that shows "children do best when raised by their married mother and father."

"Please, do not leave the future of our children and grandchildren up to the selfish desires of radical activists who want to destroy the traditional family and make marriage a genderless institution," the email states.

Expect to hear more debate about same-sex marriage and children as the campaign heats up.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
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On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
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