Maine Governor Baldacci signs same-sex marriage billMay 6th, 2009 - 11:53 pm ICT by admin
Augusta, MAINE (BNO NEWS) – Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday, just hours after the state’s Senate approved the bill. The bill, LD 1020, allows gay and lesbian couples to get married in the state.
“I have followed closely the debate on this issue. I have listened to both sides, as they have presented their arguments during the public hearing and on the floor of the Maine Senate and the House of Representatives. I have read many of the notes and letters sent to my office, and I have weighed my decision carefully,” Governor Baldacci said. “I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste.”
“I appreciate the tone brought to this debate by both sides of the issue,” Governor Baldacci said. “This is an emotional issue that touches deeply many of our most important ideals and traditions. There are good, earnest and honest people on both sides of the question.”
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Governor Baldacci said. “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.”
“Article I in the Maine Constitution states that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person’s civil rights or be discriminated against.’”
“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State,” Governor Baldacci said.
“It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government.”
“Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognize that this may not be the final word,” Governor Baldacci said. “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.”
“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,” Governor Baldacci said.
Maine is now the fifth state to allow same-sex marriages.
- Obama supports same-sex marriage (Lead) - May 10, 2012
- Argentina legalises same-sex marriage - Jul 16, 2010
- New York same-sex marriage law gives Aussie advocates hope - Jun 25, 2011
- New York Senate legalizes same-sex marriage in historic vote - Jun 25, 2011
- NYC Mayor Bloomberg to preside over gay wedding - Jul 08, 2011
- British gays to be allowed to wed in churches - Nov 04, 2011
- Federal judge overturns California gay marriage ban (Lead, changing dateline) - Aug 05, 2010
- US Republicans plan legal defense of marriage law - Mar 05, 2011
- Obama endorses gay marriage - May 10, 2012
- US state votes to make same-sex marriage legal - Apr 08, 2009
- British schools to teach kids about gay marriage - Feb 27, 2012
- California governor quietly signs same-sex marriage bill - Oct 13, 2009
- Obama supports gay marriage - May 10, 2012
- 'Gay marriage worst threat in 500 years' - Jun 13, 2012
- Governor Linda Lingle Rejects Civil-Unions Bills - Jul 07, 2010
Tags: augusta maine, bno, civil marriage, civil unions, constitution states, due process of law, emotional issue, equal protection of the laws, gay and lesbian couples, gay marriage, governor baldacci, governor john baldacci, john baldacci, maine citizens, maine constitution, maine governor, maine senate, marriage bill, marriage laws, same sex marriage