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Maine Goes Gay! Will California Be Last?

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California may see a large percentage of its single, upwardly motivated and mobile population head eastward, along with their bank accounts, tax dollars, and businesses for friendlier shores. When Iowa beat out the once gay-friendliest state of the nation in passing its gay marriage legislation, many thought that Proposition 8 was their “last straw” and predicted a mass exodus. Though many are holding out out of loyalty, just as many, if not more, are getting ready to pack their bags. Gays and lesbians have more of an advantage in terms of liquid available cash, and a tendency to spend it on vacations, businesses, and causes that are gay-friendlier in places that are more gay-friendly.

Strangely enough, New England seems more and more recently to be fitting the bill.

So far five states have legalized gays to legally marry, and Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts have joined Iowa in the Midwest. Vermont was so committed to the cause that they even overrode the governor’s veto! Once considered to be the most open and welcoming state in the union, California is poised to lose a great deal, especially with New Hampshire poised to become the sixth.

New England has a common culture with media outlets that share regions, so it’s logical that it would move as a group. Though Rhode Island seems to be the lone holdout, legislation is said to be pending, though it isn’t probable that it will make it to its governor’s desk this year.

Many East Coast leaders assert that the rest of the country has gradually figured out that after Massachusetts passed their law in 2004 allowing gays to marry, our sacred union hasn’t turned into Sodom and Gomorrah, nor has Western civilization fallen to the heathens.

As for Maine, Governor John Baldacci lost no time and signed the bill seemingly before the ink dried Wednesday, May 6, 2009. Maine’s Senate Majority Leader Phillip Bartlett asserts that the long overdue legislation won’t force religious institutions to recognize gay marriage, which has always been an ultra-right wing “bogeyman” thrown out to derail past efforts.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • Jet

    As per Dave Nalle:

    “BTW, everyone DIGG this article using the link at the top. We’re trying to see if we can increase the awareness of some of our BC politics articles using DIGG.”

  • Bill

    I think that CA will quickly overthrow the decision to outlaw gay marriage. It is a major infringement of civil rights. is a great site that provides unbiased coverage of CA politics.

  • Jet,

    This one’s short and sweet.

    Are you trying now to match Dave in a tennis match? How many sets shall we have? And does the sudden-death rule apply?

    PS: Don’t forget what I said about the Bay Area. It’s still a dream come true.

  • And I’m not even gay!

  • Jet

    Dave and I are like flying buttresses on opposite sides of the BC Political cathedral. If either of us stopped pushing, I think the building would fall over.

    Dear God, Roger-I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a love set!

  • Right now it’s 40-love. Your serve in a tiebreaker.

  • As my husband pointed out to me, California is a much bigger state than we remember. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and while we are one of the most populace cities in the world, there is a whole lot of California out there. Outside of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara, there are A LOT of people who are most closely aligned with conservative views.

    I’m not sure who was predicting a mass exodus of homosexuals after Prop 8 (a prop which was one of the most poorly worded pieces of legislation I have ever seen, and I would like to think that part of its failure was due to voter confusion), but I think that is a little ridiculous. I certainly don’t think that the outlaw of same-sex marriage has made this state any less “friendly” toward homosexuals, or has inspired any of them to move.

  • Hey Jet,

    You’ve got a competitor. Check out the site, “Canada Rocks,” among recent comments.
    It’ll make you salivate.

  • I can assure you, Alyse, that no gays will be leaving California, regardless of the present status of the same-sex marriage legislation. It’s still the most gay-friendly state in the union.

    Besides, California is California. Once you check in, you can never leave.

  • I like your website, BTW. Very attractive.

  • Jet

    When my business contacts in San Diego, San Francisco and L.A. tell me that they’ve been looking for an excuse to uproot to New England because the cost of doing business is less, and now that the entire region is going gay friendly, I’d have to disagree with both of you.

    One contact however did say he’s not going to the east coast… He moved his home design firm to Houston Texas…

    He said he wanted to see if his lover really can fill a 10-gallon hat… I’ll let you use your imagination as to what that entails…

  • Well, if the gays have braved all those years in CA when it was unfriendly, they’re not going to desert her now. You can’t just visit; you’ve got to live there for a while. It’s beyond the legislation in progress, Jet; it’s the whole culture. I know what I’m talking about. And the weather …
    God’s country in every sense of the world! I’ve told you, I’d rather be homeless there then indigent in the Midwest.

    And no – I don’t get the hyperbole.

  • Jet

    Back when the emron scam was going, a business I was making $40,000 a year at for only 4-5 visits a year had to flee to New Orleans because of the electric bills at “business rate”. Another fled to New York.

    Although I’m no longer financially connected, virtually every business contact I’ve talked to in the last few weeks has said economically it’s practally financial suicide to stay in California in the condition it is now and rather than sit and be miserable losing money, they’d rather sit and be miserable on the East Coast MAKING money… in a gay-friendly town.

    You can sell anything on the web and make money if you have a good product no matter where you’re based, and fly to L.A. etc 4-5 times a year like I did. In fact I started setting up shops in San Dieto with people who wanted to stay as managers while I controlled the major decisions from Columbus Ohio.

  • I’m little out of touch with that aspect, but I don’t buy the energy cost story. I paid nothing for utilities there (lived in a residential hotel, only $450 a month). Here in KY, my electric is over $50, water $35, and the AT&T over $70 (no lifeline). Plus I lost my SSI because the standard of living is supposed to be lower. And that’s not counting the rent. So I don’t always buy this crap. These smaller states have a way of getting their money, by hook or by crook.

    What line of business are you in? If it’s too personal, don’t bother.

  • BTW, I’ve been to Columbus, in passing. Beautiful Victorians if I remember correctly. Old town. There was a substantial hippie community when I was there last.

  • Jet

    The victorians are near campus on Neil Avenue and are crammed with students from basement to attic, the really nice ones are in… wait for it… Victorian Village.

    The hippies are in nursing homes.

  • You mean they aged prematurely for all the pot they were smoking. The one thing that kind of disturbed me was a communal living – everybody’s kids were public property so to speak and under everybody’s care. I didn’t see any good coming out from those living arrangements.

    But that’s before I settled in Oregon and eventually in California.

  • Jet

    I wonder how many moving vans it’d take to move Iowa to the west coast?

  • The only part of Iowa I could possibly tolerate is Des Moines. Leave the rest to the rednecks.

  • You’ve obviously never seen an electric bill for a warehouse that was converted to a movie studio, especially when you compare the same kilowatt rate to a facility in a Boston suburb.

  • I guess when the Name/url got its memory back I converted back to “Jet” instead of “Jet Gardner”

  • Great article, Jet. When you can get people to discuss issues, you have made a mark.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how galling it is to live in California and see how the swaying votes for same-sex marriages were taken in by a ruse used by the opposition. An ad campaign had too many voters believing that an equal voice for personal choices would equate to a change up in elementary, middle and high school curriculum promoting a lifestyle the (im)moral majority is appalled by. I believe this, in part, led to the confusion Alyse mentioned. It’s the ole muddle up the issue theory of getting votes routine. Unfortunately, it seems to have worked.

    With the passing of these laws in the New England area of the country, it seems to me their once staid reputation is actually more in standing with them having a clearer view of our constitutional rights than those in California, both in how they now read and how they can be changed. One can hope we on the West Coast can do the same.

    A mass exodus though? It’s not always a question of being able to pack up and move. Family and career ties are binders no matter what. Moving to a friendlier political state has it’s appeal but is not always practical in application. The concensus among my peers is to stand and fight the good fight, regardless of orientation.

  • Yes, I have. I had a 4000 sq. feet live-work space/warehouse in the eighties, before the earthquake. I owned the damn property and was paying 13 percent for the “bullet loan” – my mortgage payments being over $3,500 a month. But I was making money then, upwards of $400,000 a year.

  • That’s why, you know who, calls me a filthy capitalist pig – an aficionado of market economy. Whatever, may they rest in peace.

  • But Tink, it’s only a matter of time. And could you really shed the California culture?

  • Plus, the old farts are dying and a new generation is about. Gavin Newsome set the precedent. California will always be on the cutting edge.

  • I have to laugh, a friend of mine in Nebraska of all places owns a very popular male clothing website, geared to only those .00001% of hunks and leather studs that can actually wear them and look good. Very expensive and very profitable.

    He started out and flew to Hollywood, stopped at a post office and rented a box for mail, then had it forwarded to him in Nebraska.

    His address is
    the ******* *** ***** store
    The street address of the post office
    Suite (The post office box)
    Hollywood, California

    Nearly no one knows where it actually is, and some even swear they’ve been in his nonexistant Hollywood store. It’s not a scam, just a business decision-and a damned good one. The models are photographed on the coast and in studios in New York… and Chicago!?!

    Regardless of what you say, Business is business, you go where the costs are the lowest and the profits are the highest. (does anyone still doubt I used to be a republican?)

    Mark my words, with CAs money problems, business taxes are about to go through the roof and things are only going to get worse before they get better.

    Word on the business street, go for the snow, make your money, and then retire later when you have time to enjoy it in California. There’s no sense in actually being there if you’re stuck in an office 12 hours a day, and the club scene is just as good in Boston-and in some cases better, especially in the University district.

    Frankly I’m going to try for a beach house near Agate Beach’s light house on the cliffs in Newport Oregon…

    …or that’s the dream

  • I doubt about the club scene. My property and business were South of Market. Even in the eighties, the joints were booming. You’ve heard of Slims, The Oasis, The Paradise Lounge, Deviate, Julie’s Supper Club – all along the Folsom corridor – not to mention Castro and Polk St.

    When I make it back to CA – God willing this year, I’ll send you the invitation. I’ll show you the town like you’ve never been shown before. Trust me!


  • They should do something, though, about making it more business-friendly. And yes, there had been an exodus in a big way. The Silicon Valley, for instance, is half-empty.
    Fucking Arnold should have done a better job for all his promises. This is one thing about which you may disagree with me, but the teachers union are a stronghold on all CA revenues. No matter how the state revenue increases, a fixed percentage is allocated to education. There’s almost no way for the state to get ahead. And it’s a pity – the seventh largest economy in the world – topping France.

  • I saw this coming:
    Associated Press:
    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine officials say gay marriage opponents are challenging a new law allowing same-sex couples to wed.

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Thursday that opponents filed a challenge under the state’s “people’s veto” provision. It allows for a referendum to overturn laws if opponents can collect enough signatures.

    The filing came Wednesday, the same day the Legislature passed the bill and Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH’-chee) signed it. Opponents need to get at least 10 percent of people who voted in the last governor’s election to force a referendum in November.

    The signature-collecting deadline will probably fall in mid-September

  • here is the thing, gays should not be allowed to get married. sAME, fankly is true of straight couples. I do not understand hwo the government has any right being involved with marrages of any sort, and i think that the benifits they grant are a violation of my 14th amendment rights

  • Now that really would put Garfield among the feral doves, Robert.

    It would be intriguing to see how the ‘protect marriage’ folks would counter a concerted movement to end government recognition of the arrangement… without undermining their own arguments as to why gays shouldn’t be allowed to do it?

    Heh heh…

  • ARE YOU BOTH OUT OF YOUR MIND??? Do you realize the fits republicans would have at losing the tax benefits of being married?

    Dear God!

  • But Jet, what fun we would have watching them backpedal!

  • A very well taken point Doc, well taken in deed, though I think they’d call it a reassessment.

  • Clavos

    Taking the government out of the marriage game is an excellent idea, and doing so doesn’t have to jeopardize the so-called “tax benefits,” which for many couples aren’t a benefit at all, which is why so many elderly couples choose to live in sin and even unmarry.

    Personally, I think everyone should be forced to marry; why should we married folk be the only people living in misery?

  • It scares me when I agree with you Clavos.

  • tax benifits should remain for children, but not for the marriage
    plus, it would be fun to see these peopel shit a brick

  • Clavos

    Me too, Jet! :>)

  • The problem here in Ohio is that when the Fed lowers our taxes, Ohio uses it as an excuse to raise theirs, so you wind up with a net gain of Zero, or “naught” for you Brits in the audience.

  • well, seeing that we are required by constitutonal amendment to have a ballanced budget, i am fine with the tax increase

  • Frankly we’d do better with everyone paying 15% with no deductions to the U.S. and 5% to our state with no deductions.

    No shady tax lawyers providing the rich with loopholes, which is why bitching about the rich paying more is bullshit, because they’ve all found ways of LEGALLY paying next to nothing, much less their fair share.

    A federal sales tax wouldn’t work because too many suppliers/owners would find ways around it.

    Or am I just to dumb to understand that concept?

  • the main think is get lobbiests from being elected

  • You… you mean Obama hasn’t run them all out of town yet?

  • Czech Yo. Self

    Any person that stresses people vote popular guilt over their conscience aren’t Americans. Case closed. Next case.

  • Uh huh

  • I don’t catch the meaning of your “uh huh.”

    Are you in agreement with our Czech (it was gonna add “porn star” – I love ’em so)?

  • No, actually it was more in the line of how many ways the remark could be interpreted.

  • Exactly. Same thought here. It’s just so loaded, you could go an infinite number of ways from there.

    Interestingly, the Czech (porn star) fails to realize that because he/she says: “case closed.”

  • Where are you getting that he/she/it is a porn star? I’ve been out of the business for a while

  • Just kidding. The Czechs and the Hungarians have virtually taken over the porn business – and they’re all gorgeous.

    Sylvia Saint, Yana Kova, Jane Darling, etc, etc, etc. If you doubt me, check up this site; 80 percents of the super-models are from there.

  • 80 Percent-Hey don’t leave out the guys!

  • I apologize for my heterosexuality. I just love the female body.

    But you’re right. Insofar as the gay porno scene is concerned, there’s nothing that surpasses the good ol’ all-American hunk.

  • No no, I meant Czech guys, I know of a few that might tempt you to switch teams!

  • I don’t know about that. The Czechs are rather timid as a race, compared to the Poles, e.g. Point in fact, they sort of rolled over for the Germans. In one day, the country was lost and there was no resistance whatever.

    For me to switch, especially to that side, I need some evidence of the human spirit. So for the time being at least, I’ll stick by the home boys.

  • You’ve obviously never watched Adam Lambert perform on American Idol have you?

  • No, I haven’t. Looked though at some of the comments on the pertinent thread. Should I?

    Do you want to convert me?

    I’ve experimented, of course. Anyone who says they haven’t is an abject liar. Still, I love women. They complement me.

  • Roger @ #55:

    Czechoslovakia actually had a modern, well-equipped and highly-trained military and was originally well capable of defending herself. That all changed with the Munich agreement, when the Allied powers and Germany decided to carve off bits of the country among themselves – most crucially the Sudetenland – leaving her effectively defenseless. The Czechs’ frontline fortifications were in these areas but they no longer controlled them, which meant that the Wehrmacht could basically stroll in whenever they wished.

    The Czech resistance was highly effective, and accomplished the highest-profile assassination of the War – that of Himmler’s deputy Heidrich.

  • Well, I wasn’t aware of that. But you know how it goes when it comes to “sibling rivalry.” Part of the problem, though, the Czechs were always kind of impressed with the Germans, readily adopted the German technology, almost tried to become like the Germans.

    Anyhow, that’s what the popular opinion (among the Poles) was.

  • Well, not a single joke about a Czech bouncing, I’m proud of both of you.

  • Well, there’s body-check in hockey.

  • Clavos

    Not to mention reality Czech…

  • Clavos

    …and bed Czech…

  • I guess not having the experience that we do with this website’s foybles, Czech Yo. Self either has nothing to say on the subject or just can’t find us…

    shame really

    Are you guys trying to tell me that those are the best x-rated movie titles you could come up with?

  • Do we have to get a collection together and buy a better chain for Technorati’s fucking monster or what?

    It’s starting to come around more often than not!

  • The bitch of it is you have to refresh the page to get back which reprints the previous comment.

  • Right. You can’t double-Czech it to see whether the comment had posted or not. And so, you end up posting duplicates if not triplicates.

  • Roger, fortunely I had my number of comments memorized or three hours later I’d never have known you left this comment, because we still haven’t gotten back our e-mail notifications of posted comments.

    Someday someone will Google Diabetes article and is going to post an important question on what early symptoms can they look for based on my personal experiences and I’ll have no idea they did. They’ll think it was ignored and look at another website for answers.

    You don’t build repeat business by ignoring your customers-and that’s just what this website is now doing.

    I’ve written three articles in the space of 7 days, but by the home page you’d never know it.

    Someone can post a comment on an article 15 MINUTES ago, and you’d never know it because fresh comments only displays the last five.

    Someday someone is going to add bold or italics to a comment and forget to close the HTML and everything following will be screwed up because there’s no longer a preview option for comments.

    A full page FRESH COMMENTS and PREVIEW page and e-mail notifications should’ve been first priorty on the “to do” list, instead of an afterthought and “we’ll get to it when we have time.”

    Unfucking believable

    This isn’t TIME magazine; this is Blogcritics. it used to be a tradition for lengthy intelligent discussions on the topic at hand. Now that we’ve been taken over, it’s more “write ’em and forget ’em”, you’re only as important as what you published 12 hours ago, all else is trash.

    Those of us that have gotten used to where and what to click will scoff at this, but imagine a new visitor unable to navagate an article without clicking at least one or two links just to read the next part of it (like a magazine continued on page 2, continued on page 5,) and if they want to post a comment or question on it, they’ll never see it, or the response to it without knowing what button to push, much less where the damned thing is located!

    —— Imagine new writer’s frustration at putting out their very first effort… only to have all evidence of it ever existing THREE DAYS LATER! or comments posted on it vanishing as quickly as 15 minutes later! ——


    It’s going on TWO WEEKS since we started pointing out these problems. AND THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE TELLS ME HOW UNPROFESSIONAL I AM about bitching about this, I’ll point out how UNFUCKINGPROFESSIONAL and EMBARRASSING it was to release this new version of BC BEFORE these damned problems and many more were worked out-especially when I’m regularly getting e-mails asking how do I find this, how do I do that?!!!!!

  • Sorry Roger, I forgot your question?

  • Jet, all the reasons you listed for your “business contacts” leaving California were all for BUSINESS reasons. Legalized same-sex marriage might sweeten the pot, but by your own statement, that is not the main reason.

    It is no secret that it is expensive to do business here. That’s why there is a movement to recall the govenator

  • Alyse, I believe there’s been a movement to recall every California governor since the state was founded.

    Somehow I don’t think that’s a factor.

    Many, many gay businesses are starting to go under because of how expensive it is to do business. Most are just looking for an excuse, or a “last straw” to get out of town and go somewhere more friendly.

  • ATTENTION MAINE GAY VOTERS… YOUR VOTE IS NEEDED!!! Maine residents will decide Tuesday whether to repeal a law allowing same-sex marriage, an effort that has succeeded in every state where it has been put before voters.

    Public opinion surveys in Maine show a dead heat on Question 1, which would cancel the marriage statute that passed the legislature in May and was signed by Gov. John E. Baldacci (D).

    In the five other states where gay men and lesbians are allowed to marry their partners, permission was granted by courts or legislatures. Baldacci expressed guarded optimism Sunday about the effort to defeat the Maine proposition.

  • You know it’s been a while since I rolled a joint; however…

    …In a stinging setback for the national gay-rights movement, Maine voters narrowly decided to repeal the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage.

    With 87 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal, ending an expensive and emotional fight that was closely watched around the country as a referendum on the national gay-marriage movement. Polls had suggested a much closer race.

    Maine voters also decided to expand the state’s 10-year-old medical marijuana law, approving a ballot question to allow state-regulated dispensaries to grow the drug and sell it to patients. The vote comes weeks after the Obama administration announced it would not prosecute patients and distributors who are in “clear and unambiguous” compliance with state laws. Maine will be the third state, after New Mexico and Rhode Island, to allow tightly regulated, nonprofit marijuana dispensaries.

    Gay rights advocates are declaring victory after New Hampshire’s failed attempt at repealing its gay marriage law, saying it resounds in a region where opponents have concentrated efforts to reverse momentum.

    The state House voted Wednesday to kill the measure, ending a push by its new Republican majority to rescind New Hampshire’s 2-year-old law. Nevertheless, both sides are pledging to continue fighting into the fall elections.

    “Today is a banner day for the freedom to marry,” said Craig Stowell, co-chairman of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families. Stowell said the House, where Republicans hold a 189-seat advantage, was supposed to give conservatives their best shot at repeal.

    “They blew it,” he said. “This was supposed to be the most favorable legislative climate for repeal and they couldn’t even get a majority.”

    The National Organization for Marriage has pledged to spend $250,000 to help lawmakers running for re-election who support repealing the law. On the other side, the New Hampshire Republicans of Freedom and Equality PAC is raising money to back Republicans who vote to retain it.

    The Republican-backed bill called for repealing gay marriage in March 2013 and replacing it with a civil unions law that had been in place in 2008 and 2009. Same-sex marriages occurring before the repeal took effect would have remained valid, but future gay unions would have been civil unions.

    The bill also would have allowed voters to weigh in on the issue through a nonbinding November ballot question.

    If the House passed the repeal measure following its two hours of debate, it would have gone to the Senate; both houses are controlled by Republicans. Democratic Gov. John Lynch had promised to veto the bill in any case. The House vote was 211-116.

  • The re-election of Barack Obama, as well as the wins in states wherever gay marriage was on ballot — in Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington — is a massive watershed for LGBT rights. No longer will politicians — or anyone — be able to credibly claim to be supportive of gays, and to love and honor their supposed gay friends and family, while still being opposed to basic and fundamental rights like marriage.

    The very ads pushed by the enemies of gay rights, like the mastermind behind the antigay ballot measures, Frank Schubert, which claim you can support gay equality but be against gay marriage, no longer hold water. From now on, you’re no friend to gays if you don’t support full equality, and you’re a bigot if you try to defend that position, as Mitt Romney did.

    Many people previously hid behind the idea that since the president, prior to May of this year, didn’t support marriage equality, but could still be considered “pro-gay,” they could be considered pro-gay too. But President Obama not only evolved; he set a new standard: being pro-gay means supporting full equality.

    This is a president who ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” signed a gay-inclusive hate crimes law, urged voters in the states to vote for marriage equality and wrote a letter to a 10-year-old last week offering her support against bullies who might stigmatize her for having two dads. He’s a president whose administration helped transgender Americans get full protections in employment under existing laws banning discrimination based on gender and made sure his health care law fosters full access and equality for gay and transgender people.

    And he was re-elected.

    That re-election happened, make no mistake, because the president energized his based, including LGBT activists who pushed him hard and made it clear that they wouldn’t be energized if he didn’t stop dancing with the right and stood up for full equality. He learned how that could work for him, and his re-election proves that it can done. No longer will there be an excuse for politicians who claim to be pro-gay but who drag their feet for fear of repercussions.

    The wins on marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and probably Washington (votes are still being counted but activists are almost certain they won) are groundbreaking, and it’s only the beginning. The tide has turned after losses on marriage at the ballot in over 30 states. It’s a direct result of the shift in public opinion and the president both capitalized on that and helped change public opinion further. The enemies of gay equality are now on the run.

    Those enemies, however, still have a hold on the Republican Party, and the GOP will have to reckon with that. Certainly it will be front and center in the GOP’s own coming civil war over the fallout of this election. The Human Rights Campaign rightly said in a press release that last night’s victories, which included the election of Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay or lesbian person to win a U.S. Senate seat, and other pro-equality big wins, were a landslide for LGBT rights. Opponents of LGBT rights were stomped, and the pressure will be on the GOP to oust them for good. As the Rick Santorum wing claims the 2012 losses mean the party needs to double down on cultural issues like gay marriage, there will hopefully be those who make the correct point that, in fact, the party needs to drop gay-bashing and move into 21st century if it wants to survive.

    Copied from the Huffington Post

  • Jet, much as I agree with the sentiments expressed in your re-post, I think you know by now that’s not what the comments space is for…

    Naughty boy!

  • Thank you Chris, typing is still difficult and painful so I have to borrow other’s words… for now

  • After waiting years and seeing marriage rights nearly awarded and then retracted, gay couples in Maine’s largest city didn’t have to wait a moment longer than necessary to wed, with licenses issued at the stroke of midnight as the law went into effect.

    Steven Bridges and Michael Snell were the first in line, and they received cheers from more than 200 people waiting outside after they wed in the clerk’s office.

    “It’s historic. We’ve waited our entire lives for this,” said Bridges, a retail manager, who’s been in a relationship with the Snell, a massage therapist, for nine years. Bridges, 42, and Snell, 53, wore lavender and purple carnations on black T-shirts with the words “Love is love.”

    Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved gay marriage in November, making them the first states to do so by popular vote. Gay marriage already was legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings.

    In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the certified election results on Nov. 29, so the new law was to go into effect 30 days from that date. The law already is in effect in Washington state; Maryland’s takes effect on Tuesday, the first day of 2013.

    Nobody knew exactly how many couples would be rushing to get their marriage licenses early Saturday in Maine. Falmouth joined Portland in opening at midnight. Other communities including Bangor, Brunswick and Augusta planned to hold special Saturday hours.