Several voter forums in Portland this week

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PORTLAND — The public has several opportunities this week to ask questions of candidates in the Nov. 6 election for City Council, and to hear experts debate the upcoming state referendum on same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., the Portland Community Chamber will sponsor a discussion with the council candidates at the Portland Regional Chamber Office, 443 Congress St. Advance registration at is required by noon Tuesday.

On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., Preble Street Homeless Voices for Justice will host the candidates in a forum at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, 252 Oxford St. The event is part of “You Don’t Need a Home to Vote,” a series of four voter forums being held this month by the advocacy group. No registration is required.

Participating in both events will be the council District 1 candidates, Councilor Kevin Donoghue and opponent Justin Benjamin Pollard; the District 2 candidates, Councilor David Marshall and opponent Shane Boyington; and candidates for an at-large council seat, Councilor Nicholas Mavodones and opponent Wells Lyons.

Also on Thursday, the University of Maine School of Law will host a debate about issues surrounding Question 1, the Nov. 6 referendum asking if Maine should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The debate is scheduled for 7 p.m., in the University of Southern Maine’s Luther Bonney Hall, 96 Falmouth St.

The debate will feature Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. Dmitry Bam, associate professor at the law school, will be the moderator.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.