SP0384, LD 1020, item 1 - An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
Author/Sponsor: Senator Dennis Damon
Date Introduced: January 2009
Date Enacted: 6 May 2009
Date Repealed: 3 November 2009
- A bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine.
- The legislation extended the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages to any "person authorized to join persons in marriage" rather than to clergy only. It did not require that such refusals be based on religious beliefs.
- The Act also maintained the requirement for genetic counseling in marriage between first cousins of the opposite sex and expanded it to include first cousins of the same sex, despite the inability of persons of the same sex to conceive a child together.
- The day after the Governor signed the Act, opponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign to repeal it through voter referendum. The campaign was successful in placing the question on the ballot.
- 3 November 2009, the referendum passed by a vote of 53% to 47%, repealing the marriage equality law.