Maine Governor Baldacci Signs Mariage Equality Bill

Shortly after the Maine State Senate passed a marriage equality bill Governor Baldacci signed the bill.

Here is a portion of his signing statement:

“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.”

and a link to the entire story:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/…

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18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    You will have a difficult time finding a single politician who will admit to ever having been against gay marriage.

    This is amazing, I thought the tipping point would take another 8 years. But it’s happening now. This is wonderous!

  2. redstateblues says:

    so goes the nation.

    Well, maybe not right away.

  3. adam.kretz says:

    New Hampshire seems to be the only other state on the horizon within the current year, though Rhode Island has a bill introduced that is most likely going to fail.

    There will probably be a few more states by 2012. My bets, in order of likelihood:

    New Jersey

    New York

    Washington (their civil unions law is identical to marriage except in name, and I expect that to change soon)

    Illinois

    Hawaii

    California

    Maryland

    Delaware

    Colorado

    Oregon

    I’d bet 7 of these states pass marriage equality into law before 2012. That would put it at 13 states.

    • I believe the New Jersey process is already underway, and NY Governor Patterson is introducing a measure to the NY Legislature.

      Both of those could happen this year.

      • One Queer Dude says:

        …but it probably won’t happen this year.

          The Dems hold a 32-30 margin in the state senate.  One of the 32 is a guy named Ruben Diaz, Sr. who is pentacostal preacher from the Bronx who is a fanatic (more befitting of El Paso County than the Big Apple) against same sex marriage.

          He delayed the reorg of the N.Y. state senate last winter over the issue of gay marriage. He supposedly extracted a promise from Malcolm Smith, the senate president, not to bring the same sex marriage bill up this session.

          It is possible that a moderate Repub or two (yes, they actually have some of those in N.Y. although not as many as they once did) could conceivably vote for this bill on the floor, but there’s a good chance a couple of Dems beside Diaz will vote against it.

          On top of all this, the N.Y. governor is supporting the bill but he has about as much political clout as G.W. Bush had during ’08.

          It will pass in N.Y. eventually but probably not this year.    

        • adam.kretz says:

          New Hampshire is the only state with a possibility, I’d say, of passing into law this year.

          At least one R in the State Senate will vote for marriage equality, but he’ll be offset by the 3-4 Dems who vote against.

    • Jambalaya says:

      …and not the way you’ve predicted?

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        in California. I believe Adam is conservative in his estimation.  

        • adam.kretz says:

          I’d say I’m being conservative too. I never thought we’d see 3-5 more states this year.

          And if the vote is held again in 2010 in California, I won’t hesitate in predicting a victory for marriage equality. The No on Prop 8 side ran an absolutely awful campaign (lots of similarities to the disastrous Ref I/Amendment 43 campaign here).

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            the disastrous No On 2 campaign here in ’92. It never ceases to amaze how equality advocates fail to learn from past mistakes and always wind up pulling punches with the public.

          • Jambalaya says:

            …because I would happy for Prop 8 to be undone, but why do you think an anti-Prop 8 vote in 2010 would  yield a different outcome?  Do polls show that?  (not that polls are often a great indicator on the issue)  Less money on both sides?

            Also, I think your harsh words about the Ref I campaign are unfairly harsh (you too RedGreen!)

            • adam.kretz says:

              and it was a discombobulation of strategy and tactics. No campaign should go from 25 points up in the polls to a loss in the last 2 months of an election. No campaign.

              I think that the outcome will be driven by a few things: the queer community in CA (I use “queer” as an umbrella term, not a pejorative one) is far less complacent, and won’t simply let the same folks run the same campaign they always have. I think that means better outreach to the Inland Empire/Sacramento/SD areas (which they’ve already started, actually, in preparation).

              I think turnout will be a different monster this time. Non-presidential election and a Governor’s race where the Democrat will favor marriage equality (as all three major D candidates do) and a Republican who favors civil unions AND abortion rights (meaning the fundamentalists are less driven to the polls).

              I also say that the landscape has shifted in these past 7 months. Prop 8 was a catalyst for the community. Prop 8 definitely engaged activists in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine (though not Iowa, that challenge began in 2002). It fundamentally altered the strategy. Queer activism now has a grain of context, rather than being complacent with the overarching bureaucracy that has dictated campaign strategy for the past 20 years.  

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    They have a consittutional amendment prohibiting it so to be able to use thw word Marriage would require another constitutional amendment.

    As to doing it in all but the word marriage, the House passed it (my mom was one of the leaders on that) but the Senate, of which all but 2 members are Dems, ran away from it.

  5. …history will always smile well upon you….

  6. adam.kretz says:

    How many members of the Colorado state legislature, if a vote were held today, would vote in favor of marriage equality?

    Any guesses?

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      to vote against a recent vote “of the people,” so that’s a tough guess to make. They’re going to have to let a popular vote overturn it. But the votes on beneficiaries and state employee benefits probably gives a pretty good idea who would vote how if they could.

    • One Queer Dude says:

         Perhaps the Denver, Boulder Dems, some of the term-limited suburban legislators who are not looking for another office to run for, and maybe Morgan Carroll, but that would probably be the extent of it.

        I think the rest of them, even though some may agree with the concept in principle, would not want to touch the issue because A-43.

        In 5 or 10 years, perhaps but it won’t happen now.

  7. AristotleAristotle says:

    Just a bit of background – after literally 25 years their lege finally passed a statewide gay rights bill which was signed into law. Some fundies were gearing up to gather signatures for an initiative to repeal it when they suddenly pulled out. The editorial remarks on the sudden collapse of this wedge issue which helped Bush and the ‘pubs so much earlier this decade.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c

    Obviously Colorado and other middle of the road states (never mind Bible Belt states) aren’t at this point yet but when hard social righties are basically admitting defeat you know that full legal equality for GLBT’s is not far behind.

    I only wish more of our old right wing pals on ColoPols were here to read this.

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