Marriage votes today in Maine, D.C.; new CNN poll shows generational divide on issue

Posted on 05 May 2009 at 8:34am

The Maine House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on the marriage equality bill that passed the Senate last week. It’s unclear whether Democratic Gov. John Baldacci will sign the legislation if it passes the House. You can watch live video of the House proceedings by going here.

In other marriage news, the Washington, D.C. council is scheduled for a final vote today on an amendment that would allow the district to recognize marriages and civil unions from other states. The council gave the amendment preliminary approval last month.

UPDATE: The D.C. Council has voted 12-1 to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. Read a press release from the Human Rights Campaign after the jump.

Human Rights Campaign Applauds D.C. Council Vote to Recognize Marriages of Same-Sex Couples From Other Jurisdictions
Legislation will be transmitted to Mayor Fenty; Congressional review period follows

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded the D.C. Council for voting 12 – 1 to recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions.  Mayor Adrian Fenty is expected to sign the bill shortly; it would then be sent to Congress for a 30 legislative day review period.

“This legislation will strengthen families in Washington, D.C. by making clear that same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions are entitled to equal respect and dignity under the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “The District of Columbia Council has determined that it makes sense, and is simply the right thing to do, to recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into outside the District.  We thank the Council for taking this common-sense action, and we look forward to Mayor Fenty signing this legislation.  We also hope that Congress will respect the District of Columbia’s choice to provide equal recognition for couples who have legally married in other jurisdictions.”

Washington, D.C. currently provides domestic partnerships for both same-sex and different-sex couples that give access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage under D.C. law.  Four states currently recognize marriage for same-sex couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont (effective September 1, 2009).

New York recognizes marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction.  California recognized marriage by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality.  The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court; a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June.

Legislatures in Maine, New Hampshire and New York are considering legislation that would permit same-sex couples to marry under state law.

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and responsibilities anywhere in the United States.  To learn more about state by state legislation, visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws <http://www.hrc.org/state_laws> .

Also today, a new CNN poll highlights America’s generational divide on same-sex marriage. The poll found that 54 percent oppose same-sex marriage, while 44 percent support it. But among those 18 to 34, 58 percent said they support same-sex marriage. Read more about the poll results here.

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