LGBT Maine Anti-Gay Amendment Dies

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    Maine Anti-Gay Amendment Dies
    by Newscenter Staff

    Posted: June 8, 2005 11:00 am ET

    (Augusta, Maine) Maine's House of Representatives killed a proposed constitutional amendment late Tuesday night to ban same-sex marriage.

    The 88 - 56 vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority it needed and is seen as a crushing defeat for supporters of the amendment. Although the Senate has yet to vote on the issue, the House vote effectively kills the measure.

    "I would say this is the end of it for this year," said Betsy Smith of Equality Maine.

    Rep. Brian Duprey, R-Hampden, the sponsor of the ban, agreed, saying he did not necessarily expect a two-thirds win but he had hoped to get more than 56 votes.

    The version the House voted on was weaker than the the original bill which included a ban on civil unions. The civil unions provision was dropped in committee last month when it became obvious the measure was in trouble. (story)

    Maine already has legislation on the books limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Supporters of the amendment said that the law could be overturned by judges - pointing to the landmark Massachusetts ruling that opened the door to gay marriage in that state.

    But, during a short debate before the vote opposition to the amendment was clear.

    "I believe we should not scribble the graffiti of fear and discrimination into Maine's most sacred political document," House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings (D-Portland) told the House.

    Last year a similar measure was defeated in both houses on a largely party-line vote.

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