October 26, 2012

Maine gay-marriage initiative supported by Obama

A spokesman for the anti-gay-marriage campaign says, "We believe both moms and dads matter and (the president) believes a mom or a dad can be replaced."

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

President Obama endorsed gay-marriage proposals in three states Thursday, including Question 1 on Maine's ballot Nov. 6.

Statements urging voters to approve the measures were issued by the state branches of Obama's campaign in the three states, The Associated Press reported.

"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," said Michael Czin, Northeast regional press secretary. "The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1."

The statement followed the president's announcement in May that he supports gay marriage, saying he evolved from supporting civil unions for same-sex couples to backing full marriage rights.

Matt McTighe of Mainers United for Marriage, the leading group advocating for gay marriage in Maine, released a statement saying he is grateful for the president's show of support.

"President Obama made history earlier this year when he became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage," McTighe said. "Today, he spoke out in support of the thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples in Maine who want to accept the responsibility and joy that go along with marriage."

Carroll Conley of Protect Marriage Maine, the primary group opposing the ballot measure, said the group disagrees with the president and believes that Obama would be surprised to know how many Maine Democrats oppose same-sex marriage.

"We believe both moms and dads matter and he believes a mom or a dad can be replaced by a generic adult," Conley said.

Maine is one of four states that will vote Nov. 6 on gay marriage. Maryland and Washington will consider whether to uphold legislative action to allow gay marriage, and Minnesota will vote on a proposed constitutional ban on it.

In Maine, voters will be asked whether they want to allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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