On Thursday, the Maine Senate approved a bill to redefine marriage (LD1020) by a 21-14 vote. The bill now could be voted on by the House at any time. If the bill is approved and signed by the governor (or passes without his approval) there will almost certainly be a “citizen veto” since Maine law allows voters to gather signatures to have recently passed legislation repealed. This would be the first chance for the people of a New England state to have a direct say on the marriage issue.
In New Hampshire, a very impressive group of scholars has sent a letter to legislators detailing the serious shortcomings related to religious liberty in the marriage-redefinition bill there. The bill, like Maine’s, only confirms what is already obvious — that clergy will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages — but does not address other serious concerns about how marriage redefinition would affect religious organizations providing social services, businesses run by religious individuals, etc. That letter is available online here.