Monday, April 20, 2009

Maine Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary reschedules public hearing on marriage equality legislation

04/11/09 Boston 7 News:

A day-long public hearing on Maine's proposed Act to Prevent Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom (124th Legislature, LD 1020 / SP 384) will take place on April 22nd. A large turnout is expected.

Source: Gay Marriage Watch

04/20/09 The Maine Campus (University of Maine):

"The Maine Campus will live stream Wednesday's open forum on gay marriage in its entirety, starting at 8:45 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m.."

Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, said that "[w]e expect that civil rights leaders and constitutional law experts will talk about why marriage is a civil rights issue."

The proposed legislation has a provision to protect freedom of religious practice in (at least) solemnizing marriages - a protection of enacted or proposed marriage equality legislation elsewhere. But
Pastor Bob Emrich, director of the Maine Jeremiah Project, told the Maine Campus that "[i]f this bill is passed, it will immediately create a conflict with religious liberties, and that's been a foundation of our country from the very beginning, and we shouldn't institute a new policy that we know will create those conflicts." The National Organization for Marriage has launched a national ad campaign, "2 Million for Marriage," based on the premise that marriage equality legislation jeopardizes religious freedom.

04/21/09 Alliance Defense Fund press release:

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks is among those will testify against the Maine legislation.

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