Yes, yes, I know, Maine wasn't around as such during the roll call, but work with me here.
Gov. John Baldacci struck a new posture today when he signed into law a bill that will allow same-sex marriage in Maine.
Shortly after the Senate took the Legislature's final vote on the issue, Baldacci gathered reporters in his office to sign LD 1020, "An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom," which was sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, and co-sponsored by more than 60 other lawmakers.
"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," said Baldacci in a prepared statement. "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. I believe that signing this legislation is the right thing to do."
Baldacci said he viewed enactment of the bill as adhering to the intent of the Maine Constitution. "This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs," said Baldacci. "It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of church and state." [...]
Strange how the wedge to make this work in these states has been explicitly dividing civil marriage from religious marriage ... which, you know, has been the case in this country all along. It's just that when the civil marriage certificate can be signed during the religious ceremony, things get a mite ... confused.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with this. Understand that the only issue is whether or not it makes it to the ballot at all. I remain firmly convinced that, New England exceptionalism aside, any time this gets put to a vote of the whole, voters will decide that marriage as such should be of the straights, for the straights, by the straights. For all the lip service this country has given to the separation of church and state, that's not quite what it seems to want, now is it?Posted by iain at May 06, 2009 04:14 PM