Maine Governor John Baldacci this afternoon signed the bill authorizing marriage for same sex couples. In his written statement, he acknowledged that the people of Maine have the last word on the issue. His statement that "civil union is not equal to civil marriage" is just right.
With this legislation, Maine becomes the first state to enact marriage for same-sex couples through legislation without first enacting civil unions. It will remain in that category even if New Hampshire and New Jersey pass marriage bills later this year, as both those states now have civil unions for same-sex couples.
Credit goes to GLAD, and especially to Mary Bonauto, long-time GLAD lawyer and a Maine resident.