The Sun Journal reports that signature gatherers for an initiative to overthrow Maine's marriage equality law are lying to voters to get their John Hancocks on their petition forms.
One voter told the Journal that when a signature gatherer approached him, she had two petitions - one to support marriage equality, one to overthrow it. The voter asked her why she would have one to support a law that already exists, but when she didn't respond, he looked at the form and realized it was the exact same one as the petition against it.
"It's a buyer beware situation for the voter; they really need to be sure of what they are signing," said Julie Flynn, deputy secretary of state. "But people can say what they want, it's a First Amendment issue. We don't have anything in law that allows us to monitor or enforce signature gatherers."
Both sides of the issue agree it's a First Amendment right to say whatever you want to get people to sign, even if it is lying. So voters need to be more aware.
But the Catholic Church claims it frowns upon such practices. Telling the Sun Journal that they don't condone lying, Marc Mutty, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and chairman of the StandForMarriageMaine political action committee backing the repeal effort, said, "We've been very clear, certainly with our volunteers, and the paid people as well, they are not to use any kind of tactics that would divert from the truth about what you are collecting signatures for."
However, I'm not surprised they're resorting to such tactics. Having already lost in the state's legislature, a method in which marriage equality opponents used to say was the route to take to determine the fate of same-sex marriage (until they lost), they're desperate now to take the issue to a voter referendum. Why? Because marriage equality has never won a referendum.
This also reeks of the same smell Prop 8 in California secreted. Why? Because the same people who were behind Prop 8 are the ones pulling the strings to take away the rights of LGBT to marry in Maine.
To get involved locally, go to Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition and EqualityMaine.