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Thursday, April 30, 2009

As Maine Goes, So Goes the Nation?

Iowa Joins Handful Of States To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Massacusetts . . . New England, New Jersey, New York? I don't know if it's got anything to do with global warming, but seems like attitudes are thawing rapidly, day by day now. This just in from Boston EDGE:
This morning, April 30, the Maine Senate voted 20-15 in favor of LD 1020, a marriage equality bill. It now moves to the House of Representatives. The Senate defeated an amendment to the bill that proposed putting the question of marriage equality for same-sex couples before voters.

According to most polls, the Maine electorate is about evenly divided on the issue.

Maine currently provides same-sex couples with access to limited rights and benefits through a domestic partner registry. But, as did Vermont’s Legislature, which pioneered civil unions, this was considered a half-measure, which didn’t provide all of the rights and responsibilities of full marriage equality. Similarly, New Jersey, which has civil unions, is considering full marriage equality, which will probably come up sometimes this year. And neighboring Connecticut, faced with the same situation, became the third state (after Massachusetts and Iowa) to grant full marriage equality. . . .

When and if Maine grants marriage equality, the only two remaining states will be New Hampshire, where marriage equality made a giant step yesterday with passage in its legislature; and Rhode Island, where marriage equality is expected to be taken up by legislature sometime this year.
And it seems like Maine's Governor Balducci may be coming around to the side of equality, as witness his conversation with a constituent reported yesterday on Pam's House Blend.

And in New York, which since last year recognizes as valid marriages those of same-sex couples who get hitched out of state, Governor Paterson is pushing the legislature to pass an equal-marriage bill too.

In Massachusetts, which was the first state to allow same-sex marriages beginning just five years ago, the terrors of divine wrath and social destruction the Christianists warned would befall the Bay State have simply failed to appear, as this this excellent video makes clear:

So progress keeps on trucking, at least up there in the blue states. (I am like, so jealous.) One fine day, all this politicking and palaver will seem very dull and dry, a boring footnote in the history books to put some future generation of schoolkids to sleep. But right now, it's a very exciting period to be living through as legislative victories roll in, day by day.

And about damn time.

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