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Two polls released Tuesday suggest that most Mainers oppose a referendum question on the November 8 ballot to repeal a gay rights law passed by the legislature last spring. Mainers will vote on whether they want to reject the new law that protects people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, and credit based on their sexual orientation.
A Strategic Marketing Services omnibus poll says that 58% of respondents who were registered to vote and likely to cast tallies planned to vote no or were leaning that way on Question 1. About 28% said they would vote yes--in favor of rejecting the law--or were leaning that way, while 14% said they were undecided.
In a separate poll by Critical Insights, 62% of the respondents said they would vote against repealing the law, while 29% said they would vote for rejecting the law. Nine percent were undecided.
Ted O'Meara, an adviser for Maine Won't Discriminate, said he wasn't surprised by the results but added that polls showed similar support for gay rights measures before they were voted down in past years. Maine Won't Discriminate is leading the campaign to oppose the move to repeal the law. "I think it's an accurate reflection of how Maine people feel about this issue. But like any poll it's a snapshot in time and doesn't necessarily reflect turnout," O'Meara said. "It all comes down to how many people actually vote. And that's what our whole campaign is geared toward this final week--getting people out to vote."
Tim Russell, spokesman for the Christian Civic League, could not be immediately reached for comment. The organization has spearheaded the campaign to repeal the law. (AP)