LGBT rights in Maine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
LGBT rights in Maine
Map of USA ME.svg
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1976
(Legislative repeal)
Gender identity/expression Yes
Discrimination protections Yes, both sexual orientation and gender identity (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage since 2012
Domestic partnerships since 2004
Adoption Yes

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Maine have some of the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals, however may face some legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT residents.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Maine repealed its statutory criminalization of same-sex sexual activity in 1976.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Maine originally banned marriage for same sex couples in 1997.[2]

Maine established domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in April 2004.[3]

On May 6, 2009, the state enacted a law to allow same-sex marriage in Maine.[4][5] Before the law went into effect, it was repealed by referendum on November 3, 2009.[6][7]

On January 26, 2012, a petition for a same-sex marriage initiative was delivered to the Secretary of State with over 105,000, more than needed to qualify for the ballot.[8]

On November 7, 2012, a majority of Maine voters approved the Question 1 referendum by a margin of 53% to 47%, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.[9] The law took effect on December 29, 2012.

Maine has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 2001.[10]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

Maine law permits single LGBT persons and same-sex couples to petition to adopt.[11]

Discrimination protection[edit]

The Maine Human Rights Act penalizes discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender identity or expression.[12] The Human Rights Act was amended to add these protections by the passage of LD 1196 in 2005. It was challenged to a veto referendum, which was defeated by 55% of voters, resulting in the approval of the law.

Hate crime[edit]

Maine's hate crimes law explicitly addresses sexual orientation. It does not address violence based on gender identity.[13]

Gender reassignment[edit]

Transgender individuals born in Maine may amend their birth certificates after they have undergone sex-reassignment surgery.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maine Sodomy Law". 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Maine Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law". 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  4. ^ State of Maine: "Governor Signs LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom," May 6, 2009, accessed February 24, 2012
  5. ^ Boston Globe: Jenna Russell, "Gay marriage law signed in Maine, advances in N.H.," May 6, 2009, accessed February 24, 2012
  6. ^ Michael Falcone, "Maine vote repeals gay marriage law," November 4, 2009, accessed February 24, 2012
  7. ^ CNN: "Maine rejects same-sex marriage law," November 4, 2009, accessed February 24, 2012
  8. ^ Steve Mistler (January 26, 2012). "It's on: Same-sex marriage supporters give it another try". Lewiston Sun Journal. 
  9. ^ Edith Honan (November 7, 2012). "Maryland, Maine, Washington approve gay marriage". Reutersl. 
  10. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures: "States offering benefits for same-sex partners of state employees", accessed April 16, 2011
  11. ^ "Maine Adoption Law". 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  12. ^ "Maine Non-Discrimination Law". 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  13. ^ "Maine Hate Crimes Law". 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  14. ^ "Maine Birth Certificate Law: Gender Identity Issues". 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02.