Gay marriage focus now on Maine

Posted April 21, 2009, at 12:28 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The gay marriage debate shifts to Maine as sides for and against line up for a legislative hearing.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee takes up the proposal Wednesday in a daylong hearing at the Augusta Civic Center.

Maine lawmakers eye the proposal two weeks after Vermont’s House overrode a gubernatorial veto to enact a bill. New Hampshire’s Senate is expected to take up a House-approved gay marriage bill by the end of April. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa have been moved by courts to adopt same-sex marriage laws.

Among those expected to testify at Wednesday’s hearing in Maine is Bishop Richard Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Portland, who opposes the bill. Gay couples and civil rights proponents are to speak for the bill.

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