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No need for referendum as Maine recognizes gay marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:00 pm - May 6, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Republican Form of Government

I apologize not having been able to blog on this news earlier, but the blog was down for the better part of the working day, plus I had a number of errands to run, including a dentist appointment (not as painful as past such appointments as I had remembered to floss more regularly in the past six months).

I am pleased that the appropriate branch of government in Maine handled this issue.  And once again, we see the advantage of going through the legislature; this bill specified “that religious institutions don’t have to recognize same-sex marriages.

Dale Carpenter warns us to “get ready for the ballot fight. Opponents will move to collect the 55,000 signatures necessary to suspend the legislation until a referendum can be held.

In this case, a referendum is a kind of silly idea.  The citizens of the Maine already have referenda on the ballot on this issue.  Indeed, such referenda have been scheduled for at least 189 years, since Maine was admitted to the union.  They’re called elections. People in the various legislative jurisdictions across the Pine Tree State can vote their representatives out of office if they don’t like the way they voted on this.

That’s the thing about going through the elected legislature.  The people can hold their elected representatives accountable.  So, my advice to those moving to collect those signatures, spare yourself the effort.  And target those who voted for gay marriage instead.  That’s how things work in a republican system of government.



  1. Next up: New Hampshire!

    Comment by Bart M — May 6, 2009 @ 10:07 pm - May 6, 2009

  2. The citizens of the Maine already have referenda on the ballot on this issue.

    Maine allows for a “citizens veto” so as soon as the legislative session ends, pro-family groups are expected to file a petition to overturn the legislation.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — May 6, 2009 @ 10:55 pm - May 6, 2009

  3. The new server seems snappy! Thanks!

    Comment by SoCalRobert — May 6, 2009 @ 10:55 pm - May 6, 2009

  4. Typical wingnut gay patriots. Hitchhike on someone else’s work and try to take credit. Good think no one’s buying your schtick. Gay marriage, like other civil rights, got its start in the courts. Republican closet cases did everything they could to exploit anti-gay sentiments, and will continue to do so.

    Comment by Magic Dog — May 6, 2009 @ 11:56 pm - May 6, 2009

  5. With support for gay marriage up significantly, now at all-time highs in multiple national opinion polls…

    With three states having legalized same-sex marriage since November’s election and a forth likely on the way…

    With NY and DC now recognizing other states same-sex marriages…

    I think it’s safe to say… Those Prop 8 protests after the election were a complete and total disaster, LOL. The backlash they caused has been terrible!


    Comment by Erik — May 6, 2009 @ 11:58 pm - May 6, 2009

  6. Excellent post!! As a proud Maine citizen, I’m over the moon right now. Like I’ve always said, we need to go through the statehouse & not the courthouse. Hey CA: THIS is how you do it!

    Comment by Jimbo — May 7, 2009 @ 12:46 am - May 7, 2009

  7. It is the right way to go. And, it is possible that opponents will be elected and form a majority in the next legislature. And, they may push to repeal the legislation. That is also how things are done in a republican form of government. I only point this out to remind the proponents that this possibility does exist and that if they want to continue to push this, rather than blast Carrie Prejean, they need to E D U C A T E and engage those that oppose same-sex marriage.

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — May 7, 2009 @ 1:06 am - May 7, 2009

  8. Gay marriage supporters could have used a ballot intentive too. Either way is valid. I’m just happy this wasn’t a judicial fiat.

    Comment by Roy Mustang — May 7, 2009 @ 2:07 am - May 7, 2009

  9. Yes, the new server does seem to load faster! Awesome! Thanks!

    Comment by American Elephant — May 7, 2009 @ 3:08 am - May 7, 2009

  10. Good think no one’s buying your schtick.

    Good think we know who the sock puppets are and aren’t buying your schtick.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 7, 2009 @ 3:26 am - May 7, 2009

  11. In this case, a referendum is a kind of silly idea. The citizens of the Maine already have referenda on the ballot on this issue. Indeed, such referenda have been scheduled for at least 189 years, since Maine was admitted to the union. They’re called elections.

    I couldn’t disagree more.

    What I think is silly is the idea that marriage law shouldn’t reflect the people’s wishes simply because it doesn’t rank highly on their list of priorities.

    If the people of Maine support Gay marriage, you have no problem. Indeed, the issue will be even more decisively resolved.

    If they don’t support gay marriage, why on Earth would you argue that they should support it anyway simply because they aren’t willing to prioritize it above the economy, health care, terrorism and other issues they feel are more pressing?

    Comment by American Elephant — May 7, 2009 @ 3:36 am - May 7, 2009

  12. AE, well, I’ll bet they do gather enough signatures to put this on the ballot so we will soon be able to test your hypothesis.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 7, 2009 @ 4:00 am - May 7, 2009

  13. I wasn’t so much offering a hypothesis as I was challenging your position that indirect democracy is preferable and direct democracy “silly” in this case.

    Particularly since you have previously agreed that this is not an issue of civil rights.

    And especially considering a Pan Atlantic poll in Maine last month showed only 39% supported gay marriage in that state, while 35 percent supported only civil unions, and 23% opposed any recognition at all. According to my math, that’s 58% who do not support gay marriage.

    Exit polls also show that Americans rate gay marriage FAR below things like the economy, employment, Iraq, terrorism, health care, etc as priorities which will influence their vote.

    Are you suggesting the people should have to support gay marriage even if they dont want to, simply because they think other issues are more pressing?

    I think this is EXACTLY the kind of issue that the referendum process exists to deal with. I think referenda serve as an important check on the power of elected branches and I am a big supporter of it.

    Comment by American Elephant — May 7, 2009 @ 4:35 am - May 7, 2009

  14. #1 – Actually, Bart, it is Rhode Island that is the lone holdout in New England. It will probably face a bigger fight there than in New Hampshire.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — May 7, 2009 @ 11:28 am - May 7, 2009

  15. […] said, for the same reasons I opposed a referendum in Maine, I also oppose one in Washington State.  Elected representatives who decided the issue.  If […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Gay Marriage Activists Who Prefer Intimidation to Education — June 2, 2009 @ 6:25 pm - June 2, 2009

  16. […] of same-sex marriages, thinking that I might have something profound and original to say, but (in past posts on legislative recognition of gay marriage),  I’ve pretty much said everything I have […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » New Hampshire Recognizes Gay Marriage the Right Way — June 4, 2009 @ 2:48 am - June 4, 2009

  17. If you really have that much of a problem with the fact that Maine has “citizens’ initiative” and “citizens’ veto” in its state constitution you should probably leave…or have your friends in the statehouse change that for you too… Personally, I stand for checks and balances.

    Comment by Hank — June 13, 2009 @ 5:04 pm - June 13, 2009

  18. The Catholic Church with millions of tax free dollars is using that money to legislate hatred, bigotry, discrimination, depression and sadness in one bite. This would be a law that approves an illegal act of discrimination by allowing the church to make legislative decisions. The Catholic Church also thinks that life saving abortions is murder. They also approved of burning at the stake and torture, an attitude that created 400 different kinds of Protestants.

    Comment by Larry Little — November 3, 2009 @ 8:05 pm - November 3, 2009

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