Gay Marriage Advances in Maine, New Hampshire as Conservative Rhetoric Evolves

Good news from Maine and New Hampshire, while Republicans recalibrate their argument.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I noted with satisfaction that Maine's senate passed a gay marriage bill this week. So too did the New Hampshire senate. Whether the two lower chambers will pass the accompanying bills is unclear (New Hampshire's house passed a slightly different version, so they have to address it again), and whether the governors would sign the bills is also not known (Maine's governor used to be opposed but now says he may be open to the experience). As Josh Marshall points out, it may be that we've reached some sort of societal tipping point on this issue—I can only hope so.

Another measure of where we've come on the issue can be found in this post on NRO's The Corner, referring to the Maine legislation:

If the bill is approved and signed by the governor (or passes without his approval) there will almost certainly be a "citizen veto" since Maine law allows voters to gather signatures to have recently passed legislation repealed. This would be the first chance for the people of a New England state to have a direct say on the marriage issue.

So the conservative counter-argument has gone from evoking out-of-control activist judges to—once the Vermont legislature acted on the issue with the governor's cooperation—bemoaning the lack of direct voter involvement. What will they say, I wonder, if Maine voters don't exercise their veto?

This will undoubtedly whip up the conservative base, which is fine because the more energized they are, the more they'll drive the GOP off the right side of the road.

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