Expect a post on my Continuing Adventures in travel later. I had to blog about this.Maine
is now the
fifth* US state to legalize same-sex marriage
fifth state to have same-sex marriage and sixth to legalize it*, the second to do so via legislature, and the first to have the governor sign off on it. I especially like the bill name: 'An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom'.
Note the two elements in the title. The first notes that the government of Maine speaks to civil marriage only, and this should be free from discrimination. In other words, there's no reason to not
allow same-sex marriage between two eligible people. The second probably says 'hey, churches retain the rights to religiously marry whoever the heck they want'. In other words, UU folks can still allow folks to marry without regards to gender, Baptist folks can still refuse to marry same-sex couples, LDS folks can require one belong to their religion in order to be sealed in the temple**, and all of them can look at someone funny if s/he wants to just borrow the church for the ceremony without actually being a member. Which is... pretty much what happened before***, except same-sex married couples now have to remember to bring the marriage license in and get more than just a civil union.
Good quotes by the governor that pretty much says what I just typed -- he also notes that he was undecided and had previously supported civil unions only, until hearing the arguments presented during the approval of the bill that denying marriage to same-sex couples would go against fairness and equality written into Maine's constitution, and that even a civil union (which Maine has), would not be equal to marriage.
* Okay, so technically California legalized it for under a year.
Stupid Prop 8
** I'm not showing my ignorance here of LDS marriage custom, am I? ETA: Discussion in comments
*** I recall there's some anti-equality ad circulating with a New Jersey(?) church claiming they did have to marry same-sex couples. What actually was happening was that the church had a beach-side gazebo they got a tax break on from the city if they allowed it for public use. The city told them: 'Listen, if you want the tax break, you got to follow our anti-discrimination laws. In other words, if a gay couple wants to use it for a wedding on the beach, or a group of Wiccans want to use it for a Solstice party, or Planned Parenthood wants to use it for a celebratory barbecue for their doctors, or whatever, you can't decide to refuse because it goes against your beliefs. If you want to be able to refuse people on grounds of your religion, keep the gazebo as your private property'. Apparently, the church wanted both the tax break and the ability to refuse anyone they wanted, so they cried religious discrimination.