UPDATE from Joe: My sister, Sharon, was in the State House sending text messages with updates. After the vote, she said people were overjoyed and weeping in the hallways. I can’t imagine Governor John Baldacci won’t support this legislation. He’s been a longtime supporter of LGBT equality. John and I did an event with him back in October 2005 when we were working to defeat the right wing’s referendum was to overturn the legislation adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Maine Human Rights Act. Our side won that election. I imagine those same gay haters will try to overturn marriage, too.
Kudos to Equality Maine for their amazing work on this issue. And, a personal thanks to my good friend and former boss, Senator Barry Hobbins, for his leadership and helping to get the bill out of the Judiciary Committee.
The Maine Senate just passed legislation legalizing marriages for gay couples in that state. The state House would have to pass the legislation as well, though Joe says it should be an easier fight than was the Senate, then it would go to governor Baldacci, a Democrat who hasn’t said what he’ll do. A vote to send the issue up for a statewide referendum failed. (We wanted that to fail.) Yet another major advance for civil rights advocates.