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,” Baldacci said.

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.