Maine panel endorses gay marriages

Posted April 28, 2009, at 2:24 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A same-sex marriage bill is going to the Maine Senate and House with a strong committee endorsement.

Eleven of the 14 Judiciary Committee members voted Tuesday to pass the bill, while two voted against it and one proposed sending it to voters in a November referendum. Gov. John Baldacci remains undecided.

Supporters said the bill corrects an inequality that’s long existed in Maine law, while one of the opponents pointed to overwhelming constituent opposition to the bill.

Republican Sen. David Hastings of Fryeburg said he prefers sending a straightforward question to voters.

The committee session was interrupted by an outburst by a protester, who shouted that the bill is morally wrong. She was escorted by police from the State House.

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