Jewish Journal

Maine legalizes gay marriage

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 6, 2009 | 2:11 pm

First there was Massachusetts. Then there was gay marriage in California, and then there wasn’t, but then there was for those who got hitched during the five-month stitch. Add Iowa, where last month the state Supreme Court ruled that a law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

And now there is Maine. Today the pine tree state said yest to gay marriage:

Debate was brief during the Maine Senate vote. Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell, D-Vassalboro, turned the gavel over to an openly gay member, Sen. Lawrence Bliss, D-South Portland, to preside over the final vote.

Republican Sen. Debra Plowman of Hampden argued that the bill was being passed “at the expense of the people of faith.”

“You are making a decision that is not well-founded,” warned Plowman.

But Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett II said the bill does not compel religious institutions to recognize gay marriage. “We respect religious liberties. ... This is long overdue,” said Bartlett, D-Gorham.

Maine is now the fourth in New England to allow same-sex marriages. Connecticut enacted a bill after being ordered to allow gay marriages by the courts, and Vermont passed a bill over the governor’s veto.

You can read the rest from NPR here. The passage of this law reminds me of this opening line from a Time story about last month’s court ruling in Iowa: “Suddenly, California seems so long ago, so far away.”

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