Equal Marriage Comes to Maine-All by Vote, No Judges Involved

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
May 6 2009 1:39 PM

Equal Marriage Comes to Maine-All by Vote, No Judges Involved

I just got a note from GLAD saying that Maine's Governor Balducci has signed into law a bill that gender-neutralizes marriage, initiated and passed by Maine's legislature without any court case or judicial involvement whatsoever. That makes Maine the first equal-marriage state to do so entirely on its elected officials' own initiative.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay , indeed. A friend from Maine says the Gov. is very close to his out lesbian sister; she expected the signing to come quickly. It's just hard to tell someone you've known and loved and fought with from birth that you don't think she should have the same rights and responsibilities that you do. Maine has a very active referendum process, so it will go up for a statewide vote soon. Go Mainiacs! Marry early, marry often, and hang on to those licenses!

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Goodness, fairness is breaking out all over. I thought June was the marriage month! Perhaps judges and legislators in Iowa, Vermont, and Maine thought it might be nice to give same-sex couples and their families a chance to plan before they set those bells ringing?

Next in queue: New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York.  And I'm told we should expect a California rematch next year. Now that no state has to worry about being vilified for going first (Massachusetts), second (Connecticut), third (Iowa) or even fourth (Vermont), maybe equality seems like a no-brainer?

I don't know when it takes effect.

E.J. Graff is a contributing editor at American Prospect and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.