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No on 1 Launches Maine TV Ads


No on 1: Protect Maine Equality launched its first television ads on Thursday seeking to defend the new marriage equality law from a repeal attempt, which officially qualified for the November ballot on Wednesday.

Two new ads from the leading organization fighting the repeal include the one shown below featuring Bill Witten of Yarmouth. The former college football player and U.S. marine explains that he has two daughters, one gay and one straight, and he wants both of the women to be treated equally.

"It's just so important that people just look at other people, not what they are, but who they are," Witten says. "Everyone should be allowed to live the way they want to live."

The second ad features Sam Putnam of Portland, a young athlete who wants equality for his mother, Jennifer, and her partner, Michelle.

The "people's veto" seeking to repeal marriage equality in Maine, which was widely expected to have enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, was made official by the secretary of state on Wednesday, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The referendum, known as Question 1, will appear on the November 3 ballot as follows:

"Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"

The law, signed by Gov. John Baldacci in May, was to have taken effect on September 12. It is suspended pending the outcome of the referendum.

Maine became the second state after Vermont to approve marriage equality through the legislature without first being ordered to do so by the court. It will now be the first state where residents vote on legislatively passed marriage equality.

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Julie Bolcer