The gay-rights movement has suffered a harsh defeat at the hands of voters in Maine. The voters repealed a law that allowed for same-sex marriage — reducing the states allowing same-sex marriage or civil unions. Maine is now the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage. [The two men on the state seal are now strictly prohibited from marrying each other in the State of Maine].
With most polls reporting, 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal. At the same time, a liberal measure passed with voters expanding the state’s 10-year-old medical marijuana law — keeping Maine as the third state with New Mexico and Rhode Island allowing marijuana dispensaries. Thirteen states have legalized medical marijuana.
Notably, the other states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont — have legalized same-sex marriage through court rulings and legislative action. No state has passed a same-sex measure by popular vote.
The only hopeful news is that the vote was relatively close. One has to wonder how President Obama might have made a difference if he supported the law. Obama declined to even state support for the law or a similar campaign in Washington state and Kalamazoo. Obama appears to have forgotten his campaign promises to the gay community to fight for their rights. Even after a year in office, the Administration has yet to even end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — something that Obama can do unilaterally. With such a close vote in Maine, the President’s support might have made the difference.
Personally, while I support recognizing marriage for gay couples as an alternative, I remain convinced that the best approach is for all couples to register civil unions with the states and leave the term “marriage” to individual religions to define, here.
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30 thoughts on “Maine Voters Repeal Law Allowing Gays to Marry”
“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
Texas is an intent legislation. Hence it is in the preamble of what the act is supposed to accomplish. Then if that is not helpful then they have extensive committee notes. I see this as merely a campaign issue trying to get he name out. I do not see that it jeopardizes the state of marriage. I did not recall seeing it any other place in the news in Texas.
Hi Professor Turley,
I thought you may find this pretty funny: The idiotic Texas constitutional amendment that effectively bans all marriage
Hear hear. Well said.
I have put in my two cents’ worth, and then some, on this issue on other threads (“California Supreme Court Votes…,” May 27, 2009; “Brown Seeks to Overturn…,” December 20, 2008). This is purely an issue of civil rights and we cannot expect a rational discussion of it unless and until people begin to grasp the fundamental distinctions between the roles of religion and government in the recognition and regulation of private relationships.
Interestingly, Garfied states the “It” Factor…
Whilst TX Dem mentions the old “Ick” Factor…
Moreover, they are both right.
How many heterosexual males have no problem whatsoever with female homosexual sex but who are repulsed by male homosexual sex?
Conversely, how many heterosexual females have no problem whatsoever with male homosexual sex but who are repulsed by female homosexual sex?
I will likely not get an unbiased sample of opinions since most here tend towards a liberal nature.
I understand your theory, but there is no reason to wait when Americans are being denied their civil rights. I get that “icky” feeling when I think of Tenthers, Tea Baggers and Rush Limbaugh, but I don’t deny their civil rights because of that icky feeling.
As a 36 year old married man with two kids, I can’t understand how two people of the same sex or of mixed race getting married has anything to do with the oath I took.. This needs to be a federal rights deal.. Say I’m wrong if the IRS and the federal government recognizes gay marriage wouldn’t sate tax codes have to follow suit..
Let’s face it – anti-gay marriage voters are not so religious that they’re cleaving to two millennia-old rules handed down by an angry god (the idea of killing one’s children because they’re sassy hasn’t caught on); they’re not defending their concept of marriage as a “sacred” institution. No. What they’re doing is reacting to the “ick” factor associated with homosexual sex.
Every excuse being used to deny a civil right to gays and lesbians is simply a cover for wild imaginings about how foreign, exotic and therefore icky homosexual sex is – particularly male homosexual sex. America is loaded with people eaten up the Puritan “ethic,” who believe all sex is dirty, but homosexual sex is particularly disgusting.
I’m encouraged by surveys of younger Americans who see homosexuals as human beings rather than just symbols of forbidden sexual appetites. But I fear gays and lesbians are going to have to wait until the young mature and the old die off in sufficient numbers before full equality is possible.
A question for the fine minds on this site: When it comes to marriage laws, is there an actual, legally accepted definition of exactly what is a “male” and what is a “female?”
It seems to me that there are so many variations of human gender (both naturally occurring genetic conditions and surgical reassignments) that any attempt to divide people into only two gender categories has to fail because it would be intolerably discriminatory.
For example, if the law stated that marriage could only be between an individual with an XX chromosome and an individual with an XY chromosome, then somewhere between 138,000 to 276,000 individuals in the U.S. would be prohibited by marrying anyone because they have one or more extra X chromosomes (Klinefelter syndrome).
If genetics are ignored, any attempt to divide people into two gender categories based on physical attributes would be equally discriminatory against the approximately 1 million Americans who have a form of pseudohermaphrodism.
Has anyone ever tried to challenge “same-sex” marriage prohibitions with the argument that “sex” in this context is an ambiguous term?
Maybe Chaz Bono and his girlfriend, or another couple with a similar gender history, could be persuaded to apply for a marriage licence in Maine and that’s the case to take to the Supreme Court. A decision based on strictly biological facts might be the way to finally overcome the emotional flames fed by hate-filled bigotry.
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