An Act To Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom
Sec. 1. 19-A MRSA §650-A is enacted to read:
§ 650-A. Codification of marriage
Marriage is the legally recognized union of 2 people. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship or familial relationships must be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law, whether in the context of statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law or any other source of civil law.
Sec. 2. 19-A MRSA §650-B is enacted to read:
§ 650-B. Recognition of marriage licensed and certified in another jurisdiction
A marriage of a same-sex couple that is validly licensed and certified in another jurisdiction is recognized for all purposes under the laws of this State.
Sec. 3. 19-A MRSA §651, sub-§2, as amended by PL 1997, c. 537, §12 and affected by §62, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 19-A MRSA §655, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 19-A MRSA §701, as amended by PL 2007, c. 695, Pt. C, §4, is further amended to read:
§ 701. Prohibited marriages; exceptions
This initiated bill repeals the provision that limits marriage to one man and one woman and replaces it with the authorization for marriage between any 2 persons that meet the other requirements of Maine law. It also specifies that a marriage between 2 persons of the same sex in another state that is valid in that state is valid and must be recognized in this State. It also provides that a member of the clergy is not required to perform and a church, religious denomination or other religious institution is not required to host a marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that member of the clergy, church, religious denomination or other religious institution and that any such refusal cannot be the basis for a lawsuit or liability and does not affect the tax-exempt status of the church, religious denomination or other religious institution.