Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My heart is full of hope and promise today

So, um, the Maine House of Representatives, after three hours of sometimes VERY emotional debate today passed L.D. 1020 by a vote of 89 to 58. It's marginally stronger than the 3-2 margin of support the bill received in the Senate last week. This is amazing.

It goes to the Governor after a brief stop in the Senate for a confirmation vote, and unless he vetoes it, it will become law. In Maine, a governor can set aside a piece of legislation and allow it to become law without his signature, but in order to stop it, he would have to use his veto power. I don't see that happening here. I could be wrong, but I hope not. This thing had solid support in both houses of the legislature. There was no squeaker vote. It's his job to sign it and send it on through.

Now according to my understanding of things, bills passed by the Legislature become law 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, which in this case is scheduled for June 17. 90 days after June 17 is September 16, which is a Tuesday.

Our wedding is planned for September 19. At one p.m., here in paradise.

It's going to be an informal, casual event. Potluck, outdoors if the weather is nice, Hawaiian shirts all around. Bring a lawn chair.

Of course, this is all hopeful. Tentative.

There is a very real possibility that the implementation of this law will be postponed by the courts pending the outcome of a "people's veto" referendum. Signatures are being gathered already to repeal this law. Maine has a very liberal referendum process. They only need to get 55,000 signatures to put it on the ballot.If they get the signatures before the end of the summer, it could be on the November ballot. Otherwise, it would have to wait until next June.

Honestly, I really don't want this to go to referendum. It's stupid and wasteful and moronic to put the rights of a minority to a vote of the majority. I just want to marry my sweetheart and bore you all with stories of the preparations. I just want us to gather among friends and family, exchange vows and rings, and then cook burgers and maybe have some native corn on the cob. That would be nice. That really doesn't need a referendum, I think.

Keep your fingers crossed. And it goes without saying that if you're asked to sign, please decline. Thanks.

5 comments:

laughingatchaos said...

I've been meaning to comment on the previous post all day and hadn't gotten around to it. I wasn't going to allow that to happen tonight.
I am so encouraged that this has passed the legislature. I am encouraged and happy and wish to hell I could somehow be at your wedding in September. I WANT to be bored by your preparations (not likely to be bored, though) and celebrate vicariously. I hate that this could go to referendum. That's not right, for the reasons you've stated.
But I'm going to look on the bright side. This is going to pass and you and L are going to have a wonderful ceremony on September 19th and I will lift you to the heavens at 1pm EDT that day. I promise.

Robin said...

Can I say ditto to what Jen said?

September 19th is going to be a beautiful day for a wedding - how could it be otherwise with so much love involved.

PS If any of your readers are from NH, there's an urgent petition to the Governor going around right now to encourage him to support marriage equality when NH's bill reaches him. I deleted the message after signing, but the folks at Courage Campaign are promoting it.

Dusty said...

This info is from Jurist:

The proposed legislation now faces one more vote before the Senate and the House before it goes before Governor John Baldacci, who has yet to take a public position on the issue.

I posted on this great news too this morning. ;)

laughingatchaos said...

Holy crap he just signed it. Just caught that on MSNBC. Congratulations to you and L, Dawn. I'm so happy for the two of you. I can't imagine how you must be feeling today. Well done, my friend.

melouise said...

Omigosh. Finally, you and I are EQUAL.

All my love, and congrats!! :)

Louise

(who has been blubbering all day)

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/10828/breaking-maine-gov-baldacci-will-announce-decision-on-signing-marriage-equality-bill