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Gay Marriage Laws in Maine


In Maine, gay marriage is not currently legal. Although a bill was passed in April 2009, that would have legalized gay marriage, the bill was overturned. However, domestic partnership is legal in Maine. While Maine has enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, a state constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage failed to pass. However, registering as domestic partners, remains legal.

In Maine, marriage is defined as a union between an opposite sex couple. However, gay marriage was briefly legalized in Maine. A bill was signed into law in 2009 that would have approved the right to gay marriage in Maine.Marriages were never performed however, because a referendum on the bill was lost. After the Senate and House of Representatives approved the bill, the governor signed it into law.

In fact, Maine was the first state to sign such a bill into law with out a court decision that forced them to do so. However, the citizens of the state collected signatures to force a referendum in Maine. Gay marriages were not to be legally allowed in Maine because the bill was overturned during a vote by the public.

However, Maine's Domestic partnership laws still allow for some legal recognition of same sex relationships. In Maine, marriages afford couples many more rights than domestic partnerships do. However, domestic partnerships at least allow for some rights normally reserved for marriages. In Maine, gay couples that register as domestic partners, are considered to be the closest next of kin for their partner.

In addition, partners can be inherit property in the absence of a will and may make all funeral arrangements. In Maine, gay couples can also be named as health care representatives, thereby being legally able to make medical decisions, including issues relating to organ transplants. In addition, In Maine, marriages and domestic partnerships entitled individuals to protection under the domestic violence laws of the state.

In Maine, gay marriage is still illegal. However, couples can register as domestic partners after living together in Maine for one full year. In Maine, marriage creates an inability for an individual to register as a domestic partner. In addition, couples cannot legally be a part of more than one domestic partnership. Domestic partnerships can be made void by either parties consent, as long as the other person is properly notified.

In addition, domestic partnerships are automatically void if either party gets married. In essence, domestic partnerships in Maine can provide rights and responsibilities to same sex couples, that are not afforded by other states. Maine is obviously aiming to create a state with equal rights for all citizens.

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