This just in: The once on-the-fence Gov. John Baldacci has signed the same-sex marriage bill that just hit his desk when Maine’s Senate voted a final approval of the legislation. His signature, which most folks were unsure of, comes an hour after the Senate’s move.
Baldacci, who once supported only civil unions and not marriage, said in a statement: “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.” But also: “Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people,” recognizing the matter may be up to a statewide vote anyhow. “While the good and just people of Maine may determine this issue, my responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and do, as best as possible, what is right. I believe that signing this legislation is the right thing to do.”