Two days, two gay marriage victories.
Senators in Maine are following closely on the heels of the New
Hampshire Senate in passing a gay marriage bill.
Portland's NBC affiliate, WCSH, is
reporting the Maine Senate has passed Senator Dennis S. Damon's gay
marriage bill on a 20 to 15 vote. The bill now moves to the House,
which is adjourned until next Tuesday.
Tuesday, Maine's Judiciary Committee
strongly recommended the House and Senate approve the measure.
Eleven of the 14 members voted in favor of the bill, two voted
against it and one, Republican Senator David Hastings of Fryeburg,
wanted to send it to the voters.
The vote came after the committee held
a heated debate on the bill attended by nearly 4,000 people last
week. Lawmakers changed the event's initial location from Cony High
School to the Augusta Civic Center to accommodate the large crowd.
Supporters of the bill – who far
outnumbered detractors – cheered when Damon, delivered his opening
“This bill is fair. This bill's time
has come,” Damon, a Democrat from Trenton, told the crowd, who
responded with a standing ovation. “It recognizes the worth and
dignity of every man and every woman among us.”
Advocates continue to lobby Governor
John Baldacci, a Democrat, who has recently ratcheted down his
previously stated gay marriage opposition to neutrality. This
morning, they delivered 10,000 postcards to the governor's office
asking him to support the bill.
Passage in both Maine and New Hampshire
appears to be in the hands of its governors. A third New England
state, Rhode Island, is also considering a gay marriage bill.