Governor of Maine, John Baldacci, signed a bill today making Maine the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage.
The bill passed in the House of Representatives yesterday and was approved in the Senate today to allow marriage between two people, instead of defining it as between one man and one woman, according to Fox News.
The bill was then quickly signed today by the state's Democratic governor.
Republican Senator Debra Plowman opposed the bill saying that it was passed “at the expense of the people of faith.”
She cautioned: “You are making a decision that is not well-founded.”
Fox News also reported that Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett II said that redefinition of marriage does not force any religion to recognize same-sex “marriage saying: “We respect all religious liberties.”
According to the Diocese of Portland, Maine, last month Bishop Richard Malone testified before the Judiciary Committee asking them to uphold traditional marriage.
He noted that in nearly every culture,” marriage is “a social institution with the primary purpose of ensuring that the next generation grows up in a secure, loving, balanced environment… guided by both male and female parents. Children learn different traits from both genders.”
“What message do we send to children when an institution as vital as marriage can be irrevocably altered simply because a particular group demands it?” he asked. “Redefining a social institution as important as marriage gives precedent to future redefinitions, further weakening it.”
He also recognized that traditional marriage today often “falls short its ideals,” but explained that “redefining it will make our problems worse, not better.”
Maine joins the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in allowing same-sex “marriages.” The New Hampshire House is also scheduled to vote on a similar bill today.