Tuesday, April 28, 2009

HUGE Victory for marriage equality in Maine!

Local TV is reporting that the Maine Judiciary Committee has voted 11-2 to pass LD 1020 which would establish marriage equality in Maine. One member of the panel, Republican Sen. David Hastings, voted to send the bill to voters for a public referendum. Four members of the panel are Republicans. That means at least one voted for marriage equality.

This is a huge victory. Marriage equality will now almost certainly either become law this year or be on the ballot in 2010. The Maine Senate has a 18-17 Democratic majority. If it passes there it will have a very strong chance of passing the more liberal state house. Then it heads to Democratic governor John Baldacci. Baldacci has been opposed in the past but now says he's keeping a open mind. Only time can tell but I don't think he will veto it if it comes to his desk. He's not running for re-election and I doubt he'd want to be remembered as the Democrat who stood in the way of equality.

Equality is also very likely to be headed to the ballot in 2010. Even Republicans are now favoring that. There are two ways that could happen. The legislature could send it straight to the ballot or it could pass marriage equality and then the forces of hate would attempt a repeal referendum. So no matter what we are going to be gearing up for a ballot campaign that will not be easy. We can't sit by and watch and repeat the mistakes that we made on Prop 8 in California. We have to change hearts and minds and be proactive. If you don't live in Maine you can still help by sending a donation to Equality Maine which has launched a major campaign to win marriage equality and is doing great work. If you live in Maine you can go here, type in your zip code and town and contract your legislator in favor of marriage equality.

And on a related note, New Hampshire's State Senate will be voting on marriage equality tomorow. It has already passed the State House. It's not looking good but if you live in New Hampshire please click here, find your Senator and call them. Let's win!

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