PORTLAND — The head of Maine’s Roman Catholic diocese will be outlining the church’s role in this fall’s expected statewide referendum seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.

Bishop Richard Malone is holding a news conference Friday afternoon to explain what actions the church will take during the campaign leading up to November’s election.

State officials last week verified that gay marriage advocates had turned in enough valid signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

The question first goes to the Legislature and will be placed on the ballot if lawmakers, as expected, don’t approve the proposal themselves.

The Legislature legalized gay marriage in 2009, but opponents forced the question before voters, who overturned the law 53 percent to 47 percent.

 

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