Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mainers Air Their Views on Same-Sex Marriage

04/22/09 NY Times:

The NY Times reports that about 4000 Maine citizens attended today's public hearing by the Legislature's Judiciary Committee on An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.

"The Legislature, where Democrats control both houses, can pass or reject the measure, or send it to the voters for a referendum. If the Legislature passes the bill, citizens can collect enough signatures to place a people’s veto of the legislation on the November ballot."

Reports of hearing testimony:

04/22/09 YouTube:

You can watch 41 clips of testimony here.

Source of YouTube reference: Pam's House Blend blog

Testimony by Robert Talbot, Maine NAACP:

Robert Talbot of Bangor was the first director of the Maine Human Rights Commission. He is also brother of former Maine Rep. Gerald E. Talbot, who in 1977 "sponsored a bill to advance human rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation."

Source of link to Talbot's testimony: Pam's House Blend blog

04/23/09 Gay Opinion Blog Spot:

A gay man told the committe that he and his partner of 34 years "are honorable people and there is no reason our lives and love don't qualify for marriage." He describes initial discrimination by the father of his partner against the son, followed by acceptance.

04/23/09 AP (posted to Boston Globe)

"AUGUSTA, Maine - A legislative hearing to extend same-sex marriage to Maine took on the atmosphere of a religious revival yesterday as ministers made impassioned speeches for and against the bill before thousands of cheering spectators packed into a civic arena."

Religious opinion at the hearing was not uniformly against the legislation. Rev. Deborah Davis Johnson - whose Portland church belongs to the Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality - said, "Jesus led a life of doing justice; we are called to do the same."

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