Marriage equality supporters in Maine are not happy with the wording of the ballot question asking Maine voters to legalize same-sex marriage. They state that it is inaccurate and misleading. Last week, Maine’s Secretary of State William J. Schneider- an equality foe- issued the proposed wording that reads “Do you want to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
The proposed language from Mainers United for Marriage had included an exemption for clergy so that they did not have to perform any marriages that they did not want to. MUM Campaign Manager Matt McTighe stated that “The one-part question proposed by the secretary of state falls short, is inaccurate, and would create an opportunity for distortion and confusion by voters in November.”
Of course, Protect Marriage Maine rushed to defend Schneider’s wording. Carroll Conley Jr, the executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine stated that he would have preferred that the question ask if Mainers favored changing the exist-ing law to redefine marriage.” This is a common tactic from those opposed to equality since they would rather that make it look like people are doing something supposedly wrong or bad. He claims that it was misleading to include word about religious exemptions.
Current law already protects clergy from being required to perform marriages that they disagree with; however, he wants everyone to be allowed to discriminate against LGBT couples. Conley stated “Someone may say this protects religious rights and not realize how restrictive it is, but it doesn’t refer to all the other ramifications. That’s why we think it’s best to not have it in there at all.”