The Maine Senate passed same-sex marriage today by 20 to 15. They also rejected the weak-kneed non-binding referendum on SSM by 22 to 13. For good measure, they re-voted on the SSM bill and nudged its victory to 21 to 14.
As I have been figuring, this will end up before Gov. John Baldacci next week. The House takes it up on Tuesday and it seems sure to pass. The governor is of the mind that ideally marriage should be one man/one woman. Yet, he has not signaled whether he'd veto it, sign it or let it become law by his inaction.
It is very unlikely that the two chambers could manage a veto override.
According to the Portland Press-Herald article, the local Roman Catholic diocese is planning for it to be law and to beat it back with a plebiscite. Their chief flack, Marc Mutty, blamed voters contacting legislators by phone, email and otherwise for the Senate outcome. (That should be some message to him and his bishop on what they'd face among the electorate.) Now, "Mutty predicted the House also would pass the measure. He said opponents would now meet to discuss plans for a petition drive to ask voters to overturn it this fall."
Baldacci remains the wild card.
For the voters though, they have definitely transformed. After overturning gay-rights protections by ballot three times, they overwhelmingly sustained such rights last time. This dramatic and rapid advance to marriage equality shows remarkable humanity and compassion. Pretty soon, those who can't tolerate being around happy homosexual couples will have to take a last stand in Rhode Island and then move out of the whole region.
Tags: massmarrier, senate, same sex marriage, Maine