Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Gayin' Rain Falls Squarely in Maine!

Maine hopped on the train whose tracks bend inexorably toward justice this morning when Governor John Baldacci signed a civil marriage equality bill that was passed with strong majorities by the state Senate and House. In a belt-and-suspenders approach to church-state separation, LD1020 contained a sop to religious conservatives reminding them that civil marriage equality doesn't mean churches will be forced to perform weddings or canonically recognize marriages their dogma disapproves, just like Catholic churches are not currently required by law to marry one man and one woman if they're not Catholic, or if one or both got divorced without an annulment, or if the couple doesn't promise to have truckloads of kids and raise them Catholic. In other words, churches will experience no change from previously existing marriage law. So knock that shit right off before it starts.
"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," Governor 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."

"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.'"

Good on you, Maine. Much of the testimony given yesterday in the Senate was eloquent and moving. I haven't found transcripts yet, but several on-the-fly excerpts can be found on the liveblog here and here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.