July 26, 2012
Contact: Megan Sanborn
(207) 441-0501

Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. Releases Final Wording of Ballot Question for the Same-Sex Marriage Citizen Initiative

AUGUSTA, Maine — Following a 30-day public comment period that ended on Monday, July 16, 2012, Secretary of State Charlie Summers has finalized the wording of the question for the same-sex marriage citizen initiative that will be presented to Maine voters on the November 6, 2012 referendum ballot.

On March 6, 2012, the Secretary of State, after having certified that proponents of An Act To Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom had gathered a sufficient number of signatures, transmitted the initiated legislation to the Legislature.  Members of the House and Senate had the option of enacting the measure into law, without amendment, or sending the question to the voters for a final determination.  Because the initiated bill was not enacted, a question will be placed on the November ballot.

The Secretary of State is charged with drafting the question to be posed to the voters on the ballot.   Maine law directs the Secretary of State to draft the question concisely and intelligibly.  Maine law ( Title 21-A §905-A ) further stipulates that before a ballot question is finalized the Secretary must “provide a 30-day public comment period for the purpose of receiving comments on the content and form of proposed question to be placed on the ballot for any pending initiatives.” After the comment period, Secretary Summers had 10 days to review the comments and determine whether or not to change the question. 

Secretary Summers with input from senior staff has taken into account all the comments that were received and has released the following question which will appear on the ballot:

Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
Below is the title and legislation of the initiated bill:

For more information on the November 6, 2012 Election, please visit the Secretary of State's website at