11/7/12 – Yes On #1 – What it Means

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Like many of my fellow Mainers, I am very pleased with the results of last night’s election as they pertain to Question #1.

The wording on the ballot asked voters if they wanted to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. 54% of voters were in support, making Maine the first state in history to approve same sex marriage by popular vote.

What this changes for me: Honestly, not a whole lot. I have been performing commitment ceremonies for same sex couples for over a dozen years. The process of meeting with couples, writing the script and performing the ceremony won’t change. What will change is that there will be marriage certificates needing notarization, witnessing, and delivery to the issuing town office. So, the process changes from a commitment ceremony to a legal marriage which includes a bit of extra paperwork and responsibility. Simply put, very soon I will be offering the exact same service to same sex couples as I offer to opposite sex couples. I like that!

Of course, there will always be a place for commitment ceremonies for same and opposite sex couples who choose not to enter into a legal marriage. However, I suspect the demand for those will decrease.

What this changes for you: If you are part of a same sex couple, you will now be able to marry legally in Maine, just as any other couple has the right to do.  It changes nothing for opposite sex couples.

When these changes will take place: December 29, 2012.  On this date, town offices in Maine can begin issuing Maine marriage licenses to same sex couples.  The 29th happens to fall on a Saturday when town offices are typically closed, but please visit my blog titled “Maine sets a date” for exceptions.  See the FAQ’s page for information about obtaining a marriage license in Maine.

In celebration of such a significant event, I will be offering my services at no charge to the first same sex couple who books their wedding. ***Update 12/7/12:  The first couple has booked their wedding!  Melissa and Kristin are traveling from Fort Worth, TX to marry on the coast of Maine in Rockport on July 27th of 2013.***

11/6/12 – Election Day

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I cannot think of a better topic for the very first blog on this very new (and still under construction) website than one which is so near and dear to my heart.  When election time comes around, I proudly remember my grandfather, Roger H. Gagne, a soldier in the United States Army who was taken as a Prisoner of War during WWII.  This brave young man endured horrendous conditions and experienced unspeakable acts of cruelty at the hands of his captors.  Finally freed after three and a half years he was sent home, here to the United States of America.

In honor of my grandfather and so many others like him, I vote.

People, please…Take a little time to do your research before you enter the voting booth today. Know both sides of the issues.  Pay close attention to the way questions are worded.  Don’t just draw a line next to a name because you recognize it, know someone who knows the candidate, because there’s an R or D beside it or because they introduced themselves and shook your hand on your way into the building. Like politics or not, our service members gave life and limb for us to have this right. The best way to honor those sacrifices is to be there, cast an educated vote, and rock that cool little sticker they give you with American pride!

Now, it is fitting that I should also address the issue of same sex marriage.  As Americans, we are fortunate to have the freedom to vote any way we choose.

I have been performing same sex commitment ceremonies just as long as I have been performing legal marriages.  Would I like to be able to give each and every couple the same piece of paper when the ceremony is over?  You betcha.

My grandfather didn’t fight for the rights and freedoms of some American citizens.  He fought for the rights of all American citizens.

Do it for our service members, do it for the future generations, do it for yourself, do it for your country.  Get educated and vote.