UPDATE: Wahoo, Maine! Governor Baldacci signed this in to law today. Congratulations to our most northeastern state, winters are going to get a lot warmer for part of your population!
The lower house of the Maine state legislature has passed a bill that takes the state a step closer to being the fifth in the nation to allow same-sex marriage.
Maine’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted 89 to 57 to enact the proposal.
The bill now returns to the state Senate, which has previously approved it. If it passes there it will be brought to the governor for his signature.
Governor John Baldacci once opposed gay marriage but in April said he is keeping an open mind on the issue.
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont in the Northeast and Iowa in the Midwest have already legalized gay marriage, and New Hampshire’s state senate last month approved a gay marriage bill. California’s State Supreme Court determined that same-sex marriage was legal in 2008, but a voter initiative largely funded by out of state religious organizations – Proposition 8 – removed that right. The state’s Supreme Court is currently debating the legality of that election.