Maine Gov Signs Gay Marriage Bill

State the fifth to OK nuptials as Baldacci signs measure quickly
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2009 11:50 AM CDT
The Maine Legislature has approved a gay marriage bill.   (Shutter stock)
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(Newser) – Just hours after the Maine Legislature gave final approval to gay marriage today, Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill into law, the Kennebec Journal reports. When it takes effect 90 days after the legislative session ends in June, Maine will become the fifth state to allow same-sex nuptials. “This is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law,” Baldacci said. “A civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”

“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs,” the Democrat said. “It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of church and state. It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government.”