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May 20, 2009

Maine Drafts "People's Veto" Referendum on Marriage

This appears to be an attempt at evenhandedness (that's not sarcasm, I mean it):

"Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"

On May 6, Maine became the second state to legislatively allow gay marriages without a court order. The Maine marriage bill, like Vermont's and New Hampshire's contains religious conscience exemptions for churches and also explicitly provides that no person for any reason (religious or not) that is allowed to perform marriages can be forced to perform a marriage they don't want to.

Petitioners have until 60 days after the close of the legislative session (roughly mid-June) to collect 55,087 signatures. The marriage bill passed by the legislature is stayed until that time. If they manage to get the signatures, the stay continues through the election. If they don't get them, the stay expires.

Incidentally, Doctor Zero over at Hot Air's Greenroom had an extensive discussion of gay marriage (he's opposed) which I think makes good reading. If I ever have a free second again in my life, I intend to reply to several of the arguments he's making.

Oh, And While I'm Thinking About It: There was some expectation that the California Supreme Court Prop 8 decision would come down this week. That does not appear to be the case. The Court issues decisions on Mondays and Thursdays with one working day's notice in advance. Since there is no notice of incoming decision tomorrow, we can rule out a decision this week. Several commentators have suggested that the Cal Supremes will let the recent marrige events in Iowa and New England alter their decision.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:01 PM

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