Maine Diocese Won't Campaign Against Marriage
BY Michelle Garcia
March 05 2012 5:42 PM ET
The bishop of Portland, Maine's Roman Catholic diocese said the church will not actively campaign against an upcoming ballot measure that could bring marriage equality to the state.
Bishop Richard Malone revealed a lengthy letter titled "Marriage: Yesterday, Today, Always" to declare the Maine Catholic hierarchy's stance on marriage, according to the Bangor Daily News. The letter is being disseminated through local churches, schools, and the diocesan magazine and discussed on a Catholic radio station.
In 2009, Maine governor John Baldacci signed a bill to enact marriage equality, but a campaign was launched to overturn the law with a ballot initiative. During the campaign, the diocese donated $500,000 to the cause and allowed its public policy director to work full-time on the project. Voters approved the ballot initiative, striking marriage equality from the law before any weddings could take place.
In February the Maine secretary of state confirmed that 105,000 verified petition signatures gathered by EqualityMaine, the Maine Civil Liberties Union, and the Maine Women's Lobby qualified a marriage equality initiative for the ballot this November.