“Let the people vote”

It’s appalling to suggest that anyone’s fundamental civil or human rights should be put to a popular vote (as we just saw New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decisively schooled by Cory Booker). What argument will the activists who have made this embarrassing demand for years resort to when faced with the situation in Maine? In 2009, Maine voters narrowly overturned the marriage equality measure passed by their legislature. But now, with polls showing a significant shift of opinion in support of equality, proponents of a Citizens Initiative to enact a marriage equality law have delivered more than 105,000 signatures to put the initiative on the 2012 ballot, when only 57,000 signatures are actually required. “‘The number of signatures we gathered and the thoughtful conversations we’ve been having with voters tell us that Mainers are eager to speak on this question again,’ said Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine. ‘Our polling shows a 54% majority of support for same-sex marriage in Maine. Many Mainers have changed their minds and want a chance to bring equality and fairness to our state.’

With voters changing their minds about equal rights for their neighbors, will the opponents of equality also be changing their minds about letting the people vote? Awkward.

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