Thursday, May 7, 2009

Morning Sweep

Yesterday, Maine became the fifth state with legal marriage for same-sex couples after Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill. Baldacci, who hadn't indicated whether he would veto or sign, said “In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions. I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.” Read the Pride Agenda’s statement on Maine winning marriage here.

Maine marriage may face a so-called “people’s veto” – a voter referendum in the state. The Bangor Daily News editorializes against a referendum with this simple and eloquent argument: “Many lawmakers believe the issue should be decided by the voters…This is a popular argument, but it overlooks the basis of a representative democracy. The fight for minority rights always faces opposition, which is why we rely on elected officials. Giving a different — and small — group something the majority already has should not always face a veto from the “haves.”

Meanwhile, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is deciding whether to veto or sign the state’s marriage bill. “''I'm going to talk to legislators and I'm going to talk to the people of New Hampshire and ultimately make the best decision I can for the people of New Hampshire,'' he said. If Lynch vetoes the bill, it is unlikely that the legislature would have enough votes to override it.

The New York Times analyzes what Obama has done for LGBT rights so far, and what some advocates in the community are asking of him, including potentially nominating an out candidate for Justice Souter’s Supreme Court seat.

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