Maine Voters Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Rights

k3newenglandOn November 3, 2009, in a closely divided election, Maine voters repealed gay marriage rights.  Previously, the Maine Legislature had approved a same-sex marriage law.  Yesterday, by a margin that was often “too close to call,” Maine voters said, “No Thanks.”  Link to full story as reported on ABC here.

Nationally, same-sex marriage proponents continue to face tough challenges.  With the results from Maine, only 4 states currently have laws permitting same-sex marriage and are actually performing such marriages:  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Iowa.

Same-sex marriages are legal in New Hampshire, but ceremonies are not set to begin until January 1, 2010.

In New York and the District of Columbia, same-sex marriages from other states or foreign countries are recognized, but they are not performed in either locale.

In a move similar to that in Maine, California voters rejected same-sex marriage rights in the highly publicized Prop. 8 contest.  On October 12, 2009, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 54, allowing same-sex marriages from other states or foreign countries to be recognized.  However, the law only applies to marriages performed on or before November 4, 2008.

In Rhode Island, two Attorney General‘s opinions suggest that same-sex marriage should be recognized, but an opinion of the R.I. Supreme Court appears to suggest otherwise.

FireShot capture #023 - '' - upload_wikimedia_org_wikipedia_commons_d_dd_Same_sex_marriage_map_Europe_detailed_svgThe United States stands in stark contrast to our Western European allies on this issue.  As the map above reveals, the United States currently appears more allied with former Soviet-block nations on this particular issue.

The dark blue countries are those where same-sex marriage is legal.  The medium blue are countries where other types of domestic partnerships or civil unions are legal.  Light blue countries show countries where some form of unregistered cohabitation is recognized. The yellow countries represent those where the issue is currently under consideration.

Only the red countries restrict marriage solely to a man and woman.  The gray-shaded have yet to decide, either for or against legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

This map was obtained from Wikipedia.  You can link to the map and complete article here.  If you are interested in this topic, I strongly suggest you take a look at the Wikipedia article.  It contains many interesting links on the issue of same-sex marriage, including state-by-state and country-by-country analysis and a timeline of same-sex marriage rights.

So, what do you think about this issue?  Is same-sex marriage a civil right or a civil wrong?  Check out our forthcoming poll on this issue.

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