Today, same-sex marriage is now legal in Maine, the fifth state in the U.S. to recognize marriage equality. After both houses of the state legislature passed a marriage bill, Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill within an hour.
"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," said Baldacci, a Democrat.Congratulations to those that worked hard for this victory in Maine, and we encourage other states on the verge, such as New Hampshire and New York, to come to similar conclusions. If conservatives really consider marriage equality to be a states' rights issue, then they won't mind if states continue to rule in favor of marriage equality.
But he raised the possibility that the residents of the state would overturn the law, saying, "Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people."
Three other states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa -- allow same-sex marriages. Vermont has passed a law making gay and lesbian marriages legal that takes effect in September. New Hampshire lawmakers are close to passing a similar bill.
On Tuesday, the Washington City Council voted to recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow those unions. Mayor Adrian Fenty has indicated that he will sign the measure. It will become law if Congress fails to overturn the measure during a 30-day review period.