I just got a call from Nicole Clegg, spokeswoman for the city, about the city's plan for handling the fact that the law allowing marriage licenses to be granted to same-sex couples will take effect on Saturday, December 29. Are you ready?
The City Clerk's office in City Hall will be open for all business from 12:01 am to 3:01 am - that's three hours in the middle of the night - on Saturday December 29.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders are trumpeting a decision made today by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which states that courts "have the authority under current law to determine who a child’s parents are when
the child is conceived through procedures like in vitro fertilization and then
carried and delivered by another person."
No doubt Deirdre will have many thoughtful things to say on this subject in the next couple days, but since she's off for the afternoon, I'll attempt to weakly fill her shoes by telling you that a George HW Bush-appointed federal judge has just struck down Prop 8, California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage.
Richard Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Portland (which covers all of Maine), wrote an opinion piece in this weekend's Maine Sunday Telegram, addressing climate change, and arguing that the interests of "a global community for which we all must care" require us to deal with the climate crisis.
His arguments are cogent and strong.
New Hampshire legislators have turned down attempts to reverse the state's gay-marriage law. (Remember kids, New Hampshire's gay-marriage law stands.)
Courtesy of local activist Jill Barkley, we discover that Bob Emrich (one of the leaders of the Yes On 1 campaign) has sent around to supporters a note appearing to endorse the proposal in Uganda that would create a law that criminalizes homosexuality, and allows homosexuals to be put to death under certain circumstances.
We hope you've read about the straight couple who are seeking to annul their marriage if same-sex couples can't get married, on the grounds that marriage is unconstitutionally discriminatory. Deirdre wrote a great piece about it in this week's issue.
In the wake of yesterday's vote in the New York state senate vote to reject same-sex marriage there, she dropped a note to the couple.
Out in California, gay-rights activists have proposed the Marriage Protection Act, which would outlaw divorce. It certainly makes a rhetorical point - similar to Jon Stewart (I think) who said that some conservatives are so enamored of marriage that they have completed three or more, start to finish!
Any takers for a similar campaign in Maine?
John Aravosis at gay.americablog.com has an interesting account of the interplay between the DNC, the Obama administration, the New Jersey governor's race, and the No On 1 campaign here in Maine.
One very interesting point he makes is that the 2008 presidential race had far more people cast ballots than the 2009 No On 1 race.
Deirdre's morning-after-the-election blog post had a line early on that really struck me: she mentions the "sheer disbelief that so many people have a worldview that is so radically different from my own."
I don't think Deirdre is ignorant, or stupid, or insular - quite the opposite of any of that. But her perspective is enlightening.
According to the Bangor Daily News numbers as of 9:25 am, here is the breakdown by county, and a handy map (made with the help of Microsoft MapPoint) showing exactly how little of Maine voted for marriage equality (remember, Yes is to repeal equality and No is to protect it):
I'm very sorry. Personally, professionally, everything. This is terrible. But it has to be said. Jesse Connolly just gave what can only be described as a concession speech at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Sure, he said they'd keep fighting, and make sure every vote was counted. But nobody talks that way if they're winning.
You may have seen a video about same-sex marriage in Ireland. But check out this one about it in Maine, featuring Portland's own Jill Barkley:
The National Catholic Reporter has a story about Pamela Starbird Beliveau of Lewiston, a lector and Eucharistic minister in her Catholic parish, who wrote an op-ed piece in the Sun Journal supporting same-sex marriage - and who very quickly received a letter from her parish priest saying she would no longer be allowed to lead worship services, specifically because of her pro-equality stance.
The National Catholic Reporter carried a story yesterday about the split in the Catholic Church in Maine, with many practicing Catholics publicly breaking from Bishop Richard Malone, who has led the anti-same-sex-marriage fight. (The Church has put up a lot of money, but so has a group reportedly closely tied to the Mormon Church.)