Stakes High in Maine Gay Marriage Battle

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Traditional marriage supporters in Maine have gathered more than 100,000 signatures to defeat gay marriage in this Fall's state election.

Lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage in their state last May. Opponents delivered their petition signatures to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, Friday, to put the issue up for vote.

Click play to hear why this small state is so key in the national fight for traditional marriage, from Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, after this report.
 
To earn a spot on the November ballot, only 55,000 signatures are required. The 100,000 is a good sign -- but Dunlap told CBN News that number is no guarantee of victory.

"The sentiment is if you have a significant number of signatures for putting something on the ballot that that augers well for its passage, and that's not historically proven to be the case," Dunlap said.

Marc Mutty, the chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine, knows they have a tough road ahead.

"It is going to be difficult, there's no question," Mutty told CBN news. "They have significant resources. They have well-rehearsed story play. They know exactly where to go with this. They've done extensive polling. Our polling indicates it's very close."
  
If the people of Maine vote down the gay marriage bill, it would be the first time nationally that lawmakers have been overturned on this issue.
  
But, if they uphold the bill, it would be the first time nationally that voters have said yes to gay marriage.

"I think what it's going to come down to is not whether or not peoples' minds are changed during the debate, but which side is able to get their voters out to the polls on election day in heavier numbers," Dunlap said.

Because of the impact this veto effort could have nationally, both sides are tapping their top talent and fundraisers. 

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