This morning, April 30, the Maine Senate voted 20-15 in favor of LD 1020, a marriage equality bill. It now moves to the House of Representatives. The Senate defeated an amendment to the bill that proposed putting the question of marriage equality for same-sex couples before voters.Gov. James Baldacci will sign it? Maybe? Hopefully?
...Maine currently provides same-sex couples with access to limited rights and benefits through a domestic partner registry. But, as did Vermont's Legislature, which pioneered civil unions, this was considered a half-measure, which didn’t provide all of the rights and responsibilities of full marriage equality. Similarly, New Jersey, which has civil unions, is considering full marriage equality, which will probably come up sometimes this year. And neighboring Connecticut, faced with the same situation, became the third state (after Massachusetts and Iowa) to grant full marriage equality.
...When and if Maine grants marriage equality, the only two remaining states [in New England] will be New Hampshire, where marriage equality made a giant step yesterday with passage in its legislature; and Rhode Island, where marriage equality is expected to be taken up by legislature sometime this year.
"Just as spring is coming to New England, so is marriage equality and it is just as welcome and just as sweet," GLAD Executive Director Lee Swislow said in a statement.
Fingers crossed. Go, Maine!