Maine is fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage

A legislative move
Governor John Baldacci signed legislation May 6 that makes Maine the fifth U.S. state to allow same-sex marriages, and only the second to approve the unions without the threat of a court order.

Maine now joins Vermont, Massa chusetts, Connecticut and Iowa in permitting same-sex marriage. Lawmakers in neighboring New Hampshire have also taken steps toward approving same-sex marriage, but Governor John Lynch has not said whether he will sign or veto the bill.

“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” said Baldacci, a Democrat and a Catholic. “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.”

Baldacci cautioned, however, that Maine voters could try to overturn the law with a ballot measure, similar to a high-stakes referendum that ended same-sex marriage in California last November.


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