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Maine Becomes Fifth State to Allow Gay Marriage

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Gov. John Baldacci signed legislation on Wednesday (May 6) that makes Maine the fifth U.S. state to allow same-sex marriages, and only the second to approve the unions without the threat of a court order.
Maine now joins Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa in allowing same-sex marriage. Lawmakers in neighboring New Hampshire have also taken steps toward approving same-sex marriage, but Gov. John Lynch has not said whether he will sign or veto the bill.
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Baldacci said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”
Baldacci cautioned, however, that Maine voters could try to overturn the law with a ballot measure, similar to a high-stakes referendum that ended same-sex marriage in California last November.
“Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law,” he said, “it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the state belongs to the people.”
Maine’s decision comes on the heels of an unprecedented tide of support for gay marriage, both in state capitols and among the general public. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found supporters of gay marriage outnumbering opponents, 49 to 47 percent, for the first time in that poll’s history.
On Tuesday, Washington D.C.’s City Council voted 12-1 to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries, setting the stage for a possible showdown in Congress, which has finally say on all D.C. laws.
Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, urged Mainers to collect enough signatures to overturn the new law. “Because of the profound importance of man-woman marriage to the nation, we … urge the citizens of Maine to exercise their right to a ‘People’s Veto’ and halt this move toward counterfeit marriage,” he said.
Liberals, meanwhile, welcomed the decision. “State by state, love and fairness are prevailing over fear and ignorance,” said the Rev. William Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
“America is stronger when all of our families can be legally recognized and protected.”

By Kevin Eckstrom



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Comments read comments(19)
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pagansister

posted May 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm


EXCELLENT….and beat goes on!!!! YEA!!!!!!!



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nnmns

posted May 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm


Both are good news; we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.



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cknuck

posted May 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm


“Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law,” he said, “it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the state belongs to the people.”



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Henrietta22

posted May 6, 2009 at 8:57 pm


….and the GLBT are people, too, in case you haven’t noticed.



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Annapurna Moffatt

posted May 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm


YAAAAAAY!!!!!!
I hope it doesn’t get overturned–since CA I’ve gotten a little nervous about that happening.



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JohnQ

posted May 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm


pagansister-
Yes…..Times they are a changing!
Annapurna-
I think the recent IA, VT, and now ME…..as well as probably NH legalizing marriage equality will give the CA Supremes the encouragement to overturn Prop #8.
Perhaps, this along with the NH poll showing 55% of NH’ers support same-gender marriage….will give the gov of NH the encouragement to sign the NH legislation.
Peace!



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JohnQ

posted May 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm


Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, urged Mainers to collect enough signatures to overturn the new law. “Because of the profound importance of man-woman marriage to the nation, we … urge the citizens of Maine to exercise their right to a ‘People’s Veto’ and halt this move toward counterfeit marriage,” he said.
With as long as Tony has been at this……I would have thought by now that he would understand that marriage equality is no threat to “man-woman marriage”. Ah, but if he admitted this…..there would be no need for the FRC and he would be out of a job.
It has only been the last few years in which I have understood how much money people can make perpetuating lies.
Peace!



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Mordred08

posted May 6, 2009 at 11:22 pm


cknuck: “‘Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law,’ he said, ‘it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the state belongs to the people.’”
Henrietta22: “….and the GLBT are people, too, in case you haven’t noticed.”
Well, you have to remember, to people like cknuck, we’re mentally ill, and therefore incapable of deciding what’s best for us without outside help.



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jestrfyl

posted May 7, 2009 at 10:29 am


I will simply add my cheers to all the rest. One of my former home states, and the locale for my alma maters – Univ. ME, Orono and Bangor Theological Seminary – has acted appropriately. I hope everyone flocks to Bangor’s Mama Baldacci’s for some Lasagna and Bread sticks – in honor and thanks to his governorship (his family owns the place – a great place for Italian food).
Well done Rocky – Lobster – Broccoli – Tater – Piney – Vacationaland State.



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nnmns

posted May 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm


j, you’re my Maine man! Cool, way cool.



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Henrietta22

posted May 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm


We’re off to Mama Baldacci’s for pizza, lasagna, and Italian salad with breadsticks, Jestrfyl! I’ve never been to Maine.



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cknuck

posted May 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm


I hope it does get overturned just like Cali people need to step up and vote their feelings on this issue.



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pagansister

posted May 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm


Dream on, cknuck.



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JohnQ

posted May 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm


cknuck-
Prepare for the inevitable. Within the next 4years a case will end up before the SCOTUS and we will have marriage equality in all 50states.
Peace!



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jestrfyl

posted May 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm


ck,
You don’t appreciate Mainers. Their rocky exteriors betray an inner working of the heart and mind that is passionate, caring, and open to the possibilities in the diversity of lives.



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Your Name

posted May 10, 2009 at 8:57 am


ck,
“I hope it does get overturned just like Cali people need to step up and vote their feelings on this issue.

Better watch out, ck; you may not like getting what you wish for. If the ‘majority’ of the people can run roughshod over the minority, you must ask youself, ‘Which minority will be next to have their rights taken away?’
You, being a member of a minority, should be quaking in your boots.



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Your Name

posted May 11, 2009 at 2:41 am


Your Name I may be a minority because of my race, but it’s not because I like unusual sex so I’ll take my chances. Just about everyone in my family are minority races although we are composed of some majorities but we do alright, you see we are focused on changing people’s minds about how they think concerning the poor not sex.



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Your Name

posted May 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm


ck,
Why on earth would gay sex be “unusual” for a gay person? What a foolish notion.



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Husband

posted May 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm


Speaking of gay news (B’net seems sooo slow on the uptake) Uruguay just lifted its ban on gays in the military.
AND, the New York State Assembly just voted 89 – 52 in favor of same-sex marriage.
Hey, Steve, ‘hire’ a few more ‘reporters’, why dontcha?



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