Maine Governor Signs Marriage Equality into Law

Gov. John Baldacci of Maine on Wednesday signed the same-sex marriage bill passed by the State Legislature, saying he had reversed his position on such marriages after deciding it was a matter of equal protection under the state’s Constitution.

“It’s not the way I was raised and it’s not the way that I am,” the governor said in a telephone interview. “But at the same time I have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution. That’s my job, and you can’t allow discrimination to stand when it’s raised to your level.”

With the enactment of the Maine bill, gay-rights activists have moved remarkably close to their goal of making same-sex marriage legal throughout New England just five years after Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to allow it.

But gay couples may not be able to wed in Maine anytime soon. The law would normally go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, which is usually in late June. But opponents have vowed to pursue a “people’s veto,” or a public referendum allowed in Maine to ask voters if they want to overturn the law.

The opponents would need to collect about 55,000 signatures within 90 days of the Legislature adjourning to get the question on the ballot, and if they did, the law would be suspended until a referendum could be held. That would be in November at the earliest, and more likely, in June.

Mr. Baldacci acknowledged the likelihood of a referendum on the issue, saying his enactment of the law may not be “the final word.”

via NYTMaine Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s