May 6th, 2009
11:48 AM ET
11 years ago

Same-sex marriage bill passes in Maine

Maine lawmakers Wednesday voted to make same-sex marriage legal in the state.

Maine lawmakers Wednesday voted to make same-sex marriage legal in the state.

(CNN) - Maine lawmakers Wednesday voted to make same-sex marriage legal in the state, the state Office of Legislative Information said. The bill now goes to Gov. John Baldacci for his signature or veto.

Baldacci, a Democrat, has not said whether he will sign it.

"He's going to make a decision when it hits his desk," spokesman Dan Cashman told CNN immediately after the vote. He said the governor is likely to make a statement later in the day.

Three states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa - currently allow same-sex marriages. Vermont has passed a law making gay and lesbian marriages legal. That bill takes effect in September. New Hampshire lawmakers are close to passing a similar bill.

A slim majority of Americans are against legal recognition for same-sexmarriage, CNN polling found last month. Fifty-four percent of adults questioned in an April 23-26 nationwide CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, while 44 percent said they should be considered legal.

The survey's sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Maine • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. David

    Gee, thanks Maine, for doing your part in the destruction of America!

    May 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Mike- Kansas City MO

    This is GREAT news! I find it interesting that almost every state in the Northeast recognizes or is considering recognizing same-sex marriages.

    I find it interesting these were states that were instrumental in the founding of our country, and they are at the forefront of this new path. It is actually kind of fitting!

    Way to go Maine!

    May 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Daniel Rowe

    When are these idiotic lawmakers going to wake up and quit catering the gay/lesbian society. Marriage is between a man an a woman. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. This is absurd that when this country was founded on Christian priciples that we would allow homosexuals to legally get married. If we look back at history each civilization that has condoned this behavior has went down in flames. I am sure God is shedding tears as we speak because of these actions.

    May 6, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Robert

    The New England states led the fight for independence from Britain, and now we're leading the fight for marriage equality. Other enlightened states will follow - just as Iowa did. The courts, legislatures, and simple generational will combine to extend the revolution nationwide. Can't wait!

    May 6, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Bill

    My Golden Retriever's been lookin' pretty good lately. Once I'm gone, he shouldn't have to make it on his own and should be afforded all of the luxuries and perqs he currently enjoys. We need legislation ... NOW!

    After all, after he evolves, he'll be just like one of us, why trample his rights?

    May 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Robert Lee

    Let the people decide in a referendum. With something so ingrained in culture, this is something that a republican (not Republican) government cannot effectively decide. If tolerance is the key, than laws passed down from on high aren't going to do anything about it.

    Now, having said that, personally I don't care. I'm not a supporter of same sex marriage, but I won't throw much hands up in disgust if it's recognized. Ultimately, the government shouldn't even be involved in "marriage..." Treat everyone as an individual, "married" or not...

    ...I just wonder why same sex couples are so eager to get married when we piss on it in America, anyways. Does anyone really believe that same sex marriages will last in any better fashion than traditional marriages? What needs to happen is to teach people how to be more committed to their relationships...

    ...that's all getting off point, though. In other words, referendum. Let the people decide.

    May 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. KateB

    Wonderful! About time LGBT people get the same rights as the rest of us (albeit 1 state at a time). Also, no way polls can get a good sample these days with 1/3 of people ditching their land-lines and going exclusively cell, and likely another 1/4 refusing to answer unfamiliar calls on their land-lines.

    May 6, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Ryan - Hopkins, MN

    If it truly is rites versus rights, the court houses should be handing out civil union certificates, not marriage certificates. The IRS should not be asking for marital status, they should be asking about domestic partnership status.

    The problem is the church and state are using the same word for two different purposes.

    May 6, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Steve - Connecticut

    That now makes 4 out of 6 New England "Puritanical" States that have approved of Gay Marraige. The Right Wing Radio Hosts think we are nuts. We New Englanders are very tolerant of other's beliefs and lifestyles. We don't wear our religion on our sleeves. Oh yeah, we are also better educated than most of the country. Maybe that's why it is easier to find a needle in a haystack than a Republican Congressman from New England. Equal Rights for all.

    May 6, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Dave

    Please lets dispel these myths about a Christain nation and please show me the word God or Christain in the Constiution? We in fact had a treaty specifically stating we are not a Christain nation, during the founders time "Treaty of Tripolli" and "In God We Trust" was on a coin in 1864 (Civil war) to make the Union look noble and then in 1954 to combat communisum.

    So drop it and give one credible non-religious reason to not allow gay marrige, just one?

    May 6, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Jake

    great news!

    and for all of you out there questioning what our country is coming to??

    guess what? we've always been here. all around you. paying our taxes, teaching your children, working government jobs, driving buses, farming, volunteering, donating to charity...and now we're demanding our rights.

    May 6, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Eddie

    So, will this new equality erase them as a protected group in Maine under the 'hate' crimes legislation? Be careful what you ask for.

    May 6, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Maine is getting too liberal for New England

    Time to vote out Senator Snow. Maine is becoming far too liberal. If Maine wants to go to the far left and become the state in favor of abortion, gays, lesbians, illegal immigrants, welfare, and intrusive big spending government, then God help them from themselves. It is time for the GOP in Maine to retake their state.

    May 6, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Moderate Democrat

    I'm miffed at a some responses here. It's a matter of Rites vs. Rights. The STATE does not have a RIGHT to tell churches what RIITES they have. There should be NO laws on the books based on scripture. It's a fact, there ARE churches who WILL perform 'Same Sex Marriages'....don't like it all you want, but there are. So you can go to your church of choice, one that doesn't perform them, or one that does, you can personally not recognize a marriage if you choose to. But you can't make it go away by forcing your version of lunacy twisted scripture into law.

    The only reason to try to make laws OUTLAWING them, is to take the RIGHT of the RITES away from the church. Get your scripture out of our laws, we don't want an american Taliban led government!

    Straight, Married, Christian (but get the government out of defining marriage, turn to your OWN church for it)

    May 6, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Bob

    Maybe now they can force religous entities to marry them in their churches. And next we will have doctors find a way they can have kids the el' natural way.

    Marriage is defined as a religous sacrament. Those who do not marry each other in front of God are not married. Yes, that means same sex and bi-gender marrages. Why do you need to redefine a word and its meaning. If this is truely about the legal issues then why not go with Civil Unions? You get the same legal rights. And yes, a marrage by the JOP is called common law marrage it differes from marrage.

    Where is the tolerance for the religouis or is tolerance only for thoses who define it? Actually, in saying we need tolerance for something we assert that it is different or unequal. So do we want tolerance of each other or equality. I think we are all equal. It is not ours to judge each other.

    At least we, the religious, believe in forgivnes and we will always forgive just as we need to be forgiven.

    So please, can we leave the term marraige as a religious sacrament and call anything that is not done as a sacrament something else. Can we have some equality in this dabate and not be looked at as some radical idiot just because of our beliefs.

    May 6, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Grant from Denver, CO

    Funny how the Christian Extremists are upset about the culture of America having an effect on their beliefs. They never seem to mind when it is them trying to change the beliefs of others. Call them "enemy combatants" and lock em up until they respect the rights and wishes of others. Only then can the join the civilized world that has been represented by the US of A for the last 233 years.

    May 6, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Enough

    What other things that are not natural will be forced to accept and tolerate? And if we don't agree, we will be called names.

    May 6, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Steven

    Terrible news...homosexuals do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the Holy Bible. CNN post both sides of the views.

    May 6, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Logan

    this is not a good thing and those people should be sent away to an isolated island

    May 6, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Bob

    Gay marriage is "cultural suicide" because it undermines the legitimacy of a time tested institution of society, the marriage of a man and woman for the purpose of procreating and raising children. Gay marriage is also against nature, which indicates that every child needs a father and a mother - even Darwinian evolution teaches that. Gay marriage is also not required by 'equal protection' clauses of constitutions, which do not mean that all life-styles are equal. This movement is getting a free-pass on these issues and should be carefully re-considered for its long term consequences.

    May 6, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. fred

    the christian establishment used to condone burning witches. they changed their stance, over time. they will come around.

    May 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Diane

    I am so proud that my legislature passed the gay marriage bill. It is about time that people recognize that "separate but equal" does not work for anyone. If you are lucky enough to find love with someone, be it same or opposite sex, you should have the right to enter into marriage with that person. The only pre-requisite I would put on any marriage is that is should be two consenting adults. As for religious implications, gay marriage has none. No church is being forced to perform marriages, that choice is being left up to them.

    There is no threat to religion or traditional marriage. Two people getting married affects no one but those involved.

    GO MAINE! Now all we need is the rest of the country to join in and allow all couple the SAME rights.

    May 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Daniel Rowe

    The people have decided. In every state that there has been a vote on same-sex marriage it has been voted against. Again same-sex marriage has been voted against every time it has been on a ballot in every state.

    May 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Kanon

    And we're going down, down, down...

    Who's next?

    May 6, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Sam TX

    I just figured it out... About a week ago I was against it, and I was talking to a new friend, balling because she assumed her partner debt when she died. They were together for 20 years and one day her partner's family woke up and just started challenging the will. It just clicked that I'd hate if anyone got in the affairs of me and my wife or kept her from keeping our things we've gained together. I feel behind the curve but now I can celebrate with everyone who has equality. Congrats to all the citizens of Maine.

    May 6, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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