I am overjoyed to find this article detailing that the state of Maine just passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage. And they did it the smart and correct way - which is great for a person like me, who supports gay mariage rights but disagrees strongly with the "legislation by judicial fiat" approach.
Several times I have been asked to participate in signing petitions voicing support for x state's attempt at "legalizing" gay marriage. Each time, I have been caught in a quandary. I strongly feel that states should make marriage laws as diverse as possible, stopping short of sanctioning coercion. (In fact, I question what qualifies the state to decide who we can and can't marry altogether.) At the same time, the libertarian principal I base that on also leads me to a principal in tension with the previous one: that legislation should be legislative and not judicial. Thus, I supported the idea that New York should legalize gay marriage, but was angry as hell at the idea that the judiciary could have the power to override a legislative matter that had NO CONSTITUTIONAL BEARING.
So, I am pleased to see that Maine, following the leads of Vermont and Connecticut, in signing a bill into law legalizing the ability of gays and lesbians to marry. One of the reasons I am pleased about this, in fact, is because when the decision is legislative, critics cannot say - as they often do! - that the bill is unrepresentative of the will of the people. per our democratic republican process, the very fact that these laws were enacted by the congress means that they were conducted properly and, should the people disagree, the people may vote the candidates out of office or petition to those candidates.
And the fact that these laws are enacted properly - by elected representatives - is also to be noted because this trend means that those who live in highly conservative states should not have to worry about the state judges usurping the authority of theiir representatives. In other words, as much as I like the idea of gay marriage being legal, I do not believe that it should be legal in states that do not wish it to be legal. Per the constitution's 10th amendment, the issue of marriage laws is deferred to the states. Until the 10th amendment is undone (or a gay marriage amendment pro- or con-) is added to the constitution, I think it would simply be unconstitutional to force states to legalize (or illegalize) something supported by the representatives.
So, Maine has done the smart thing here. I, for one, am overjoyed. HOpefully other states follow suit. And maybe someday, we will allow gay people to give blood.