Same-Sex Marriage Law to Take Effect on December 29
On Thursday, Nov. 29, Governor Paul LePage certified the election results and officially legalized the same-sex marriage law. The law will take effect on December 29, 2012.
On Nov. 6, Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriages through a popular vote. The new law allows same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses.
Under the act:
- Repeals the provision that limits marriage to one man and one woman;
- Authorizes marriage between any two persons who meet the other marriage requirements of state law;
- Specifies that a marriage between two persons of the same-sex in another state that is valid in that state is valid and must be recognized in Maine; and
- Provides that a member of the clergy is not required to perform and a religious institution is not required to host or perform a marriage in violation of religious beliefs, and that refusal cannot be the basis for a lawsuit or legal liability, and will not affect the tax-exempt status of the religious institution.
‘The long wait for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine is almost over,” said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. “Before the end of this year, all loving and committed couples in Maine will be able to stand before their friends, family and community and make a lasting vow to be there for one another.’