A vote is expected today in the Maine
House that will likely seal the deal on gay marriage in the
Legislature. The bill would then need to be signed by Governor John
Baldacci, a gay marriage opponent, for it to become law.
Senator Dennis S. Damon's gay marriage
bill (LD 1020) passed Thursday in the Senate. Opponents were
expecting a fight in the chamber but the bill was approved with a
robust 21 to 14 vote.
All except ten of the bill's 65
co-sponsors are in the House, where Democrats outnumber Republicans
nearly 2 to 1.
The Legislature's actions place
Governor John Baldacci, who favors civil unions over marriage for gay
and lesbian couples, in a tight spot. The Democratic governor
backtracked a bit on his opposition to gay nuptials in January when
the legislation was introduced.
“I'm not prepared to say I support
gay marriage today, but I will consider what I hear as the
Legislature works to find the best way to address discrimination,”
Last week, his tone softened further.
According to PamsHouseBlend.com,
a blog dedicated to LGBT topics, Governor Baldacci said on Wednesday
that he has been impressed by proponents of gay marriage, adding: “I
was opposed to this for a long time, but people evolve, people change
as time goes by.”
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has
been placed in the same situation by state legislators who approved
a gay marriage bill last week. Lynch, a Democrat, has declared his
opposition to gay marriage in the past, but has remained quiet on
whether he'll veto the legislation.