Same-sex couples will be legally able to marry in Maine on December 29, following certification of this month’s referendum results.
Governor Paul LePage signed off on the certified results from the Secretary of State this past Thursday, November 29. The new law takes effect 30 days from that date, according to an announcement from Equality Maine and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
Maine became the first state where voters approved a referendum initiated by marriage equality advocates. Voters overturned same-sex marriage legislation in 2009, but this year, the measure won 53% to 47%.
The new law will allow non-resident couples to marry in Maine, and require the state to recognize marriages of same-sex couples that are valid in other jurisdiction. GLAD has more information.
Same-sex couples will soon be able to marry in nine states and jurisdictions. A new law in Washington takes effect this Wednesday, and the Maryland law goes into effect on January 1, 2013. Both states joined Maine in being the first where voters approved marriage equality at the ballot box.
The federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages because of the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law is pending review by the Supreme Court, while legislation has also been introduced in Congress to repeal the law.