PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Religion is playing a major role in one of the biggest campaign issues in Maine this fall, even though most Mainers don't consider themselves religious.
Today leaders of several religious faiths throughout Maine gathered to throw their support behind Question 1, which would legalize same sex marriage. The Catholic Church has always opposed Gay marriage and Roman Catholic leaders in Maine are once again urging followers to vote no.
Monsignor Michael Henchal of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland says religion is playing such a big role in the debate over Question 1 because marriage is at the core of many religious beliefs and teachings. For the Catholic church marriage is between a man and a woman only.
"Religion plays a small role in Mainers lives compared to the rest of nation. Nonetheless it's the tipping point for the election", said Monsignor Henchal.
But religious leaders of several other faith groups support Gay Marriage. It's an issue that causes people to dig deep within themselves and wrestle with what their faith considers marriage to be and accepting all people for who they are.
The Reverend Robert Grove-Markwood, president of the Bangor Theological Seminary, says in many cases marriage is a religious ceremony and the two go back together a long way.
"This essence of our deepest beliefs about who we are as people, what love means and that's the stuff that goes into that religious territory", he said.
Even though most Mainers say religion is not important to them, the religious beliefs of voters may very well decide this issue.