Maine Governor Baldacci Signs Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Maine_small Governor John Baldacci has signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state:

"Baldacci made his announcement within an hour of the Maine Senate
giving its final approval to LD 1020. The Senate voted 21-13 in favor
of the measure after a short debate. The House of Representatives gave its approval on a 89-57 vote Tuesday. The proposal would make Maine the fifth state to allow gay marriage. Four states now allow same-sex marriages. Connecticut, Massachusetts
and Iowa have been ordered by the courts to do so, and Connecticut
later enacted a law codifying the court ruling. Vermont in April passed
a gay marriage law over the governor's objection."

 Baldacci, who has opposed same-sex marriage in the past, said in a statement:

Bladacci "I have followed closely the debate on this issue. I have listened to
both sides, as they have presented their arguments during the public
hearing and on the floor of the Maine Senate and the House of
Representatives. I have read many of the notes and letters sent to my
office, and I have weighed my decision carefully. I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste. I appreciate the tone brought to this debate by both sides of the
issue. This is an emotional issue that
touches deeply many of our most important ideals and traditions. There
are good, earnest and honest people on both sides of the question.

"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of
civil unions. 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. Article I in the Maine Constitution states that ‘no person shall be
deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor
be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment
of that person’s civil rights or be discriminated against.’ This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage
that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to
perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the
separation of Church and State. It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under
Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of
government. Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognize
that this may not be the final word. Just as
the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally
under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in
the State belongs to the people. While the good and just people of Maine may determine this issue,
my responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and do, as best as
possible, what is right. I believe that signing this legislation is the
right thing to do."

Comments

  1. wisebear says

    Baladacci is a great example of how open-minded people can be enlightened. Six months ago he never would have signed this bill. Bravo, Governor. Great job, Maine activists. Are you watching, California Supremes?

  2. GeoNorth says

    Gov Baladacci just made a little place for himself in the history books. First Governor to sign in a marriage equality bill. Way go gov!

  3. Blaz says

    This is great! I see every win as one more state I may get to live in! My boyfriend up in NY keeps saying that all of New England is going to allow marriage equality by the time I visit him at the end of June. I sure do hope so.

  4. alex in boston says

    Now is the time to call/write/fax Gov. Baldacci and THANK HIM! He changed his view and gave Mainers equality!! Will someone post his contact numbers/email PLEASE!! More importantly contact him and SAY THANK YOU!!

  5. Rafael says

    Great news! I keep remembering all those moving testimonies from the day of the hearing in Maine. Today, I’m humbled by their victory and wish them all the happiness in the world.

  6. stansfield4602 says

    “Instead, it reaffirms the separation of church and state. It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government.”

    Well stated, now if only other states would just adhere to this. Congrats to Maine!

  7. Tim says

    This is great news. But we will now face the biggest fight since Prop 8. The anti-gays will now use the “People’s Veto” process. In the past 14 years, they have won 2 of those and lost 2 of these referenda.

    1995: Failed to pass Colorado-style anti-gay initiative barring all gay rights laws prospectively

    1997: Successfully repealed the state gay rights law

    2000: Again successfully repealed the latest gay rights law passed by the legislature

    2005: Failed to repeal the third gay rights law passed by the legislature

    The marriage law will definitely get on the ballot and it will be a big fight. If we lose, it will take the wind out of our momentum. If we win, it will mean a corner has been turned. Prepare to open your wallets.

  8. Jersey says

    Wow, what a wonderful surprise. It brings tears to my eyes and I support getting lobster on the way home to celebrate for Mainers. When can the weddings begin?

  9. Tralfaz says

    Quick someone send Miss KKKal and her fake tits to Maine!!

    Oh dear, I shouldn’t say that .. Paul C might get upset again.

    Ah fuck it!

    GO MAINE!!!

    Come on Cal Supremes pull the stick out of your asses.

  10. allan says

    It’s a great day for Maine.

    Has anyone noticed (I’m only noticing, not commenting) that if New Hampshire’s governor signs that state’s bill, that four of the whitest five states in the U.S. will have marriage equality? (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa)

  11. Greg says

    thanks for posting and updating this. Queerty’s top story is that the now defunct Genre magazine is trying to get information out of it’s former readers/subscribers. Thanks for keeping an eye on the ball and for an always quality site!

  12. says

    Governor Baldacci, unlike our Governor Douglas in VT, will go down in history as being on the right side. Congratulations to him and to everyone who made it happen in Maine.

    The “People’s Veto” is heinous and ugly and unfair, but the momentum is in our favor. Obviously, it will stay a lot more securely in our favor if we can triumph over ignorance in these ballot propositions.

  13. Andrew says

    You guys are all giving Baldacci entirely too much credit.

    He’s a politician, when gay marriage seemed like the risky thing to support, he was against it, he figured he’d never actually be confronted with a gay marriage bill.

    When that possibility came up, he flip flopped on his public position because that is the political necessity.

    He’s a tool, I’m glad he signed it and all, but he’s like most other politicians, he didnt take a stand until it was the safe thing to do.

  14. says

    Great news. As Montrealers, my husband and I take the relatively short drive to Maine to enjoy the beaches and seafood. We’ve always found people there very welcoming. This will add to our feeling of being “at home” as a married same sex couple.

  15. Bill says

    Fantastic!

    Same-sex marriage supporters need to start working NOW to stop a repeal from getting on the ballot and encourage Mainers to support marriage equality if it does get on the ballot. START NOW! Post videos on youtube of this historic day in Maine. Tell your friends how important marriage is to gay couples. Write emails to newspapers in Maine in support of marriage equality.

    http://equalitymaine.org/

  16. says

    I don’t know why, but I became very emotional over this one. Please write to the honorable John E. Baldacci and express your congratulations for advancing the causes of peace, freedom, and justice in these United States of America.

  17. occono says

    Amazing.

    With this and D.C. and hopefully New Hampshire and so forth I think I should actually stop reading gay blogs: best to avoid all the spam and hate stories and what not and just celebrate Gay Rights news from a distance without knowing all the ugly details about protesting and such. Might be healthier to be blissfully ignorant of mob reactions….though it would probably be best to hear how likely Vetos are to pass and see possible dissapointments coming.

  18. GregV says

    “Has anyone noticed (I’m only noticing, not commenting) that if New Hampshire’s governor signs that state’s bill, that four of the whitest five states in the U.S. will have marriage equality?“

    Yes, Allan, I do notice that. And to understand the connection, we have to look at how the ancestors of the states with large black populations got there and what the ancestors of the white residents in those states were doing through history.

    Cities like San Francisco and states like Vermont were the strongest supporters of Lincoln in the elections of the 186O`s. Meanwhile the whites in states like Tennessee and Alabama were capturing Africans and then buying and selling them, leading to very large numbers of blacks in those states.

    Churches like the Unitarians and Quakers that were big in the more equal states largely supported freedom for blacks, voting rights for women and now same sex marriage. Meanwhile, the Southern Baptists formed to support slavery. To this day they remain the biggest church in the South and they have stood on the wrong side of history on every major human rights struggle.

    The sons and daughters of those whites who forced blacks into coming to Georgia and Mississippi to be bought and sold were those who gave free blacks no rights in courts, and their grandchildren kept blacks away from restaurants and drinking fountains (and from marriage rights with white spouses}.

    Whites residents of Vermont and Maine never forced blacks to move there, so they are fewer in number. But those blacks who are there came by choice and live in a more equal society to this day.

    Children do not always follow the ways and religions and prejudices of their parents, but there are strong tendencies.

    It is really no coincidence that, to use a Bible quote, the sins of the fathers cause consequences for the sons unto the seventh generation.

  19. aber says

    Maine Gov. John Baldacci said gay-YES!
    Same-sex marriage became legal in Maine on Wednesday as Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill less than an hour after the state legislature approved it.
    Maine Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill Wednesday legalizing same-sex marriage.
    The survey’s sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
    See the actual video.
    said-gay–YES

  20. DaveO says

    California Supreme Court will do the “right thing” and that is uphold the result of Prop 8.

    California voters will then do the “right thing”, which is to repeal Prop 8 in 2010.

  21. JT says

    We’ve all noticed it’s the whitest states, yes. The politically-correct white gays are probably fuming. Black gays, who are more sensible, are probably just glad it’s happening.

  22. remix says

    Congratulations Maine. And congratulations Governor Baldacci for making history and doing something two governors before you didn’t have the courage to do. :-)

  23. Anonymous says

    This brings tears to my eyes also… the American people are finally starting to get it.. gay people aren’t demons — we are your neighbors, friends, bosses, colleagues, and family members. We just want to be treated equally.

    Kudos to Gov. Baldacci for doing the right thing!

    This is a story, the ending of which we already know. We must just be patient and fight on.

  24. RB says

    Yay! Another sign that we are winning the battle!

    I am now watching Oprah and the subject is sexual bullying. Two 11 year olds hung themselves over gay bullying.

    Bitter sweet! We win marriage while kids are killing themselves for being gay or being called gay. We have so much more work to do! Happy and sad at the same time!

  25. Andalusian Dog says

    Show your support of Maine by vacationing in Ogunquit this summer instead of going upstate, New Yorkers! Spend your money where it is welcome! Lobster chowder in Perkins Cove, anyone?

  26. Anonymous citizen says

    As a lifelong citizen of Maine, I am appalled at the passing of the same-sex marraige law. This country was built on the foundation that the word of God and the laws stated in the bible were the basis of the constitution of this country. When the government removed the morals (church influence) in their practices, they removed the foundation this country was built on. It’s not surprising that our society has so many issues. Our leaders are more interested in gaining votes to keep their jobs rather than stand by what’s right and moral in this world. It’s sickening, and I’m ashamed to say that we are being led by nothing more than a bunch of spineless cowards. This is America. We’re supposed to be better than that.

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