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Maine election officials have given the green light for a November referendum to win back marriage equality in the state, more than two years after voters approved a ballot measure repealing a 2009 same-sex marriage law.
Maine's Secretary of State's office confirmed Thursday that it had verified more than 85,000 signatures turned in by LGBT advocates seeking to restore marriage rights for same-sex couples. Only about 55,000 valid signatures were required in a state where recent polls show 54% of residents support equal marriage rights.
"Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons other couples want to marry: because they love each other and want to spend their lives together," Betsy Smith, Equality Maine's executive director, said in a statement. "During the last two years, our coalition has had thousands of face-to-face conversations about marriage with Mainers who have changed their minds about this issue. There's no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage in Maine." (Read more here.)