Gay Marriage Bill To Be Introduced

In what will certainly be controversial, supporters of same-sex marriage are hoping to make it legal in Maine.

Gay marriage supporters announced today they are moving forward with legislation that will permit same-sex couples to wed in Maine.

The bill, to be sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, would end the prohibition on qualified gay and lesbian couples from marrying in Maine, according to a statement from the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition.

The bill codifies civil marriage in Maine law as the legally recognized union of two people. The bill affirms that religious institutions continue to have control over their own religious doctrine and teachings regarding who may marry within each faith.

Finally, the bill recognizes the validity of marriages validly licensed and certified in other states.

The coalition includes EqualityMaine, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Maine Civil Liberties Union, and the Maine Women’s Lobby.

Opponents, including the Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Maine Family Policy Council, said they will fight the bill as it goes through the legislative process.

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