Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Panel in Maine Endorses Marriage Equality

A bill is currently on the radar for votes by the Maine Senate and House that could make Maine the fifth state to recognize marriage equality. Importantly, the language of the bill won a strong endorsement yesterday from a legislative committee, setting the stage for votes by the Senate and House.

With this stamp pf approval (Eleven of the 14 committee members voted Tuesday to pass the bill) the next step is that the bill will go before the legislators for votes.

Fox News reports, "...the bill's strong committee support should carry some weight in floor votes... there is support in the Senate for sending the bill out to public vote. Even [marriage equality] opponents acknowledge the likelihood of a House vote in favor of the bill. Unless both chambers agree on a single version of the bill, it will die."

Last week, in the state's capital Augusta, there was an open legislative hearing in which citizens of Maine testified about marriage equality. According to The Boston Globe, the event drew thousands of people from around the state.

Maine's Senator Dennis Damon, who opened the hearing, told the audience, "This bill is fair; this bill's time has come... It recognizes the worth and dignity of every man and every woman among us."

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