Posted by: mydarkestplaces | May 5, 2009

Incredible News

After coming home from an absolutely epic weekend, it was with the knowledge that the Maine State House of Representatives had the opportunity to make history. For the past few months, EqualityMaine and its partners have been lobbying the Senate Judicial Committee hard to pass a marriage equality bill out of committee and on to the floor of the Legislature. With a successful committee hearing last week (from a supporter’s point of view), the Senate acted quickly, voting in favor of the bill and sending it on to the House. Today was the day that the House voted, and lo and behold, they passed the darn thing. For so many reasons passing this bill was, and is, the right thing to do. The boost to the wedding and tourism industries, a new draw for young businesses and people to move to Maine, the ability for many more thousands of Mainers to finally have a permanent, legal union with the partner of their choice, and – not least – the end to one more layer of inequality. 

I’ve always held that Maine is a fiercely independent state. It’s a state where the biggest bite of the electoral pie belongs to registered independents. A state where folks are more inclined to say, “I don’t care what you do on your side of the fence, just don’t bring it to my side.” I’m hoping that this continues, and Governor Baldacci does the right thing by signing this bill into law when it lands on his desk. Twenty years down the line, our offspring may not know (or remember) that Maine was the fifth (or sixth depending on the vote in New Hampshire) state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. However, I guarantee that they will know that Maine didn’t support it, should the bill not get signed. It’s past time for the legal protections that shelter some couples to shelter all.

 

Postscript: Let’s all give a shout-out to Governor Baldacci and the fact that he is now the first Governor in United States history to legalize gay marriage. There’s still a long road ahead as the opposition gathers the requisite number of signatures for a people’s veto, but the fact that we have reached this point at all makes me even more proud to be from the great State of Maine.


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