Changes seen in Maine on gay marriage since vote


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -

Gay marriage advocates say much has changed since 2009 when Mainers overturned a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Opponents agree.

But they disagree on what those changes are and what they mean for this year's gay marriage initiative, expected as a statewide referendum on November's ballot.

Gay marriage activists say many opponents in the 2009 referendum have changed their minds. They base that view on poll numbers, one-on-one discussions with 40,000 residents and strong response they had in collecting more than 100,000 signatures to move the matter forward.

But opponents say what's changed is that Mainers are more conservative now - as evidenced by the Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican governor - and are more vocal in their opposition since voters rejected same-sex marriage three years ago.

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Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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