State No. 5?

BREAKING: Maine Senate OKs Same-Sex Marriage Bill

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After making it through committee, the full State Senate voted. The numbers? 20 to 15 in favor. Now it’s time to see whether the Assembly can muster the same energy, and then whether Gov. John Baldacci will make good on his hinting that he’ll sign the bill. If all that happens, Maine will become the fifth state to legalize gay marriage (not counting California), with Vermont’s change coming in September.

WCSH: “Debate on the bill began Thursday morning, and was completed just before noon. The votes were 20 to 15 in favor of passing the bill. The senate is also discussing adding an amendment to the bill to put it out to vote. ”

AP: “Immediately, however, one of the senators who voted No – Republican David Hastings of Fryeburg – introduced an amendment from the floor that would send the issue directly out to statewide voters in November. That move prompted Democratic Majority Leader Philip Bartlett of Gorham to request a recess. The House of Representatives has already adjourned until next Tuesday, so the bill can’t come up for preliminary consideration there until then.”

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21 Comments

  • echoecho

    I think it still has to go through the House, actually – the bill was first introduced in the Senate.

  • atdleft

    @echoecho: Yep, the Maine House still needs to vote. So what are our numbers there?

  • echoecho

    @adtleft I’ve been trying to find that out myself…

  • Bruno

    It’ll become the 5th unless New Hampshire gets it done first.

    But I’d still like to know if this would really be official before a “People’s Veto” vote later this year.

  • Gay In Maine

    The final vote was 21-14. Every bill gets voted on twice, and one of the original no votes switched to yes on the second vote. The amendment to send it directly to referendum was voted down.

    The bill was introduced in the Senate first because that was going to be the toughest chamber to get it through. The Speaker of the House is a cosponsor of the bill and the Democratic majority is much larger in the House than the Senate.

    The Governor is evolving on the issue, but no one still knows if he is going to sign it, so that’s the next big hurdle. If you live in Maine, please call Governor Baldacci and encourage him to sign the bill should it come to his desk.

    Finally, the People’s Veto is likely. The opposition needs to collect just over 55,000 signatures between June 17 (end of session) and September 15 (90 days). It would be on the ballot either November 2009 or June 2010, depending on how quickly they gather their signatures and submit them to the Secretary of State.

  • The Gay Numbers

    What are the polls saying regarding the support in the general public. Is it close, are we down or are we up? Is this winnable as a people’s vote (whatever that means)?

  • Bruno

    @Gay In Maine:

    If the bill passes with no veto from the governor, when would it go into effect? Would this date be regardless of a pending People’s Veto election?

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Last polls I saw showed SSM having more support than opposition in Maine…something like 53% support. But of course, we saw numbers like that in California, too. Things seem different right now though, and Maine is a less polarized environment than California.

  • bigjake75

    soon all of new england will be one great rainbow. Where does RI stand? That is the last place if we get Maine…

  • echoecho

    @bigjake75 RI’s Republican governor just joined NOM, so it’s gonna be a fight. Anybody know if it’s possible to get VT-like majorities in both the RI House and Senate to veto override?

  • The Gay Numbers

    So its winnable even with the people’s vote?

  • Bruno

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Winnable yes but it’ll likely be a nail-biter either way. It’s hard to gauge, also, the shifting attitudes, they seem to be happening so fast in the last month.

  • atdleft

    @Bruno: So will the law take effect immediately if Baldacci signs it or will it be put on hold pending a people’s veto vote?

  • Bruno

    @atdleft:

    That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Usually these kinds of laws don’t take effect for a few months anyway, so my guess is the vote would take place beforehand.

  • The Gay Numbers

    Bruno

    RE Shifting trends

    Some of this is follow the leader. One of the many reasons I do not like rights decided by popular vote is human psychology. If other say they don’t like a right being granted, then there can be a bandwagon effect. Often even down South, not everyone was for Jim Crow, but the impact of public sentiment exacerbate the feeling that the belief was uniform. This increased the intertia of trying to change things. If it’s close, it’s not as good as if we had a clear lead, but I am hopeful given the momentum that this favors us because of people looking to their neighbors to see what they are doing. It’s human nature. If some are giving the rights to us, then the feeling could be a form of social pressure for other voters to do the same.

  • billy

    i will be so happy if maine makes it through.
    i live here and i know many who want to get married

  • Bruno

    @The Gay Numbers:

    I agree, and that’s what could happen in Maine. Like Vermont’s legislative victory has had repercussions on other states’ legislatures, a positive gay marriage vote in a state can have similar ones in other states. I don’t like the fact that we vote on the issue, but I think a winning vote might actually put the last nail in the coffin of the anti-gay marriage movement more quickly. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but the one thing I’m almost 100% sure of is that they will succeed in getting this to a referendum.

  • The Gay Numbers

    Bruno

    I believe the anti-gay marraige groups will simply label any popular victory as suspect or against God, and will continue. It’s not a movement based on rational thought.

  • Bruno

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Well, they’ll be with us for a long time, perhaps the rest of our lives. But they’ll be like they are in most of Western Europe, a significant but marginal bloc who have lost this issue. That’s the hope anyway.

  • mikeandrewsdantescove

    Wow the NE is really coming through on gay marriage. Being married in California and my home state of Iowa approving same sex marriage was already a dream come true.

    Mike

    I Wanted Bruno & Settle for Pat Bateman, Bryan Hawn & Rod Daily

    http://cdbaby.com/cd/mikeandrews2 (LINKS)

  • Jon from Maine

    And the Gov’s sister is gay…..family huh..

Comments are closed.