Please please please please please:

PORTLAND, Maine – Bolstered by out-of-state money and volunteers,
both sides jockeyed Monday to boost turnout for a Maine referendum that
could give gay-rights activists in the U.S. their first victory at theballot box on the deeply divisive issue of same-sex marriage.

The state’s voters will decide Tuesday whether to repeal a law that would allowgay marriage. The law was passed by theLegislature and signed byDemocratic Gov. John Baldacci last May but has never taken effect.

contest is considered too close to call, and both campaigns worked
vigorously — with rallies, phone calls, e-mails and ads — to be sure
their supporters cast votes in theoff-year election.

voters uphold the law, it will be the first time the electorate in any
state has endorsed marital rights for same-sex couples, energizing
activists nationwide and deflating a long-standing conservative
argument that gay marriage lacks popular support.


5 thoughts on “Maine

  1. Let’s suppose that the law gets upheld.
    What’s the goalpost-shifting going to be?
    Which, by the way, if the legislature passes a law, but then a referendum on that law has to be held before the law takes effect, then why the fuck is there a legislature, anyway?

  2. Well, how could youPOSSibly considerMaine to be an indicator of popular support? Why, it’s a liberal elitist stronghold! And it’s onlythis big!
    Seriously, though, it’d be a start.
    And as to why we have a legislature and law-by-referendum: I think California’s been asking itself that for a good number of years now.

  3. “And as to why we have a legislature and law-by-referendum: I think California’s been asking itself that for a good number of years now.”
    In the case of Prop 8, it wasn’t “law-by-referendum”, it was state constitutional amendment by referendum (although for the California Constitution, the word ‘amendment’ has a different meaning.)
    In 2000, California voters passed Prop 22, which defined in normal law that ‘marriage was only between a man and a woman’, and was a case of “law-by-referendum”. In May of 2008, the California State Supreme Court struck down the effect of Prop 22 and other state statues, based on a ‘equal protection’ provision in the state Constitution. That is, Constitution trumps legislation.
    So to trump constitutional ‘equal protection’, Prop 8 had to itself change the state Constitution, which it did.
    (It did so as a simple-majority ‘amendment’ to the Constitution. The California Constitution also has a process known as ‘revision’. ‘Revision’ in California is the rough equivalent of an ‘amendment’ to the US Constitution. ‘Revision’ takes a 2/3rds vote in the Assembly and the state Senate, something Prop 8 would never have gotten. Basically, small changes to the California Constitution get done by amendment; big stuff must be down by ‘revision’. The court challenges to the passing of Prop 8 argued that it was a big change, and therefore doing it by the simple-majority ‘amendment’ process was invalid. They lost.)
    I don’t know if today’s Maine prop is a similar try at amendment trumping legislation, or amendment trumping constitution, or what. Anyone?

  4. To maybe answer my own question (based on being a non-lawyer, and five minutes of internet research)…
    Maine has a process known as the “People’s Veto”; through which the electorate can ‘veto’ the actions of the state legislature by putting a proposition on the ballot that overrides the action of the legislation passed by the legislature within a given period of time after the legislature’s action. Today’s prop is to replace one statute (Sec.1.19-A MRSA §650) with another (Sec.1.19-A MRSA §650-A).
    I guess that means the Maine Supreme Court could then override today’s prop with an ‘equal protection’ ruling. (It looks like Maine doesn’t have a process to amend the Constitution by Proposition, like California. So – assuming today’s prop passes, and then the Court rules ‘equal protection’ – there is no “Prop 8” in Maine’s future.)
    Or they could just defeat the “People’s Veto” today…

Comments are closed.