Scroll To Top

Maine lawmakers kill marriage amendment proposal

Maine lawmakers kill marriage amendment proposal

The Maine house of representatives on Wednesday killed a proposal that would require the legislature's judiciary committee to develop a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. The sponsor of the joint order, Rep. Brian Duprey (R-Hampden), warned against the possibility of "any activist judge trying to legislate from the bench" and suggested that an existing Maine statute that speaks to the issue of marriage should be bolstered. The house, voting 73-63, declined to go along, eliminating the need for senate action. The house chairman of the judiciary committee, Rep. William Norbert (D-Portland), argued against the joint order, saying the panel already was "plenty busy these days." The state's "defense of marriage" law defines marriage as a union between a man and woman and forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Michael Heath, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, said prior to the house vote that he backs Duprey's proposal as a way to ensure that same-sex marriages are not recognized in the state. He said an amendment would create a much higher legal standard. Betsy Smith, executive director of the Maine Lesbian Gay Political Alliance, said Duprey's proposal did not surprise her, because 20 states are looking at amendments or "defense of marriage" legislation. "We are cautiously optimistic this legislature would not overnight make a decision to have the judiciary committee write discrimination into the constitution," Smith said before the vote.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff