Christian Civic League launches 'exploratory' anti-gay petition campaign -- The Maine GayNet Archive

Thursday June 12, 1997

Christian Civic League launches 'exploratory' anti-gay petition campaign

By James Saunders Jr.

YARMOUTH - Ron Dubois of Westbrook put in four hours at the polls here on election day, hoping to get local voters to join the Christian Civic League of Maine's fledgling campaign against Maine's new gay rights law.

Old man sitting at tableSitting behind a table at the Amvets Hall on North Street, Dubois, 62, a state corrections officer and 20-year Air Force veteran, got the signatures of 22 voters on a petition asking if they "want to reject the law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit."

Headed "People's Veto Referendum," Dubois' petition was one of several "exploratory" signature-gathering efforts Tuesday, said Christian Civic League Executive Director Michael Heath.

At FaImouth's town hall, a Portland woman was also soliciting petition signatures with the help of two assistants. Town Clerk Fran Smith estimated that they gathered about 25.

Heath said the League was working with the Christian Coalition, a national conservative political organization, in an attempt to garner enough signatures to force a referendum vote on the new law. A total of 51,100 signatures are needed, and the law's opponents have only three months in which to gather them.

So Heath, in a telephone interview at his Augusta office Wednesday, said the League "has not yet committed itself" to go forward with the referendum campaign.

He said the League's board of directors will meet Friday (June 13) and review the number of signatures obtained at polling places, and will decide between then and the Maine Legislature's scheduled adjournment date of July 4 whether to pursue or drop the League's "People's Veto" campaign.

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