State Laws and Legislation

Maine Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law

Licenses marriages for same-sex couples? No.

Honors marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions? No.

Any form of statewide relationship recognition for same-sex couples? Yes.
In 2004 the state Legislature passed a law establishing a domestic partner registry. Registered couples can inherit a deceased partner’s property if he or she dies without a will, make funeral and burial arrangements, be named a guardian or conservator if their partner becomes incapacitated, be named a representative to administer a deceased partner’s estate and make organ and tissue donations. Same-sex partners are also explicitly protected in the state’s domestic violence laws.

In May 2009, both houses of the legislature passed “An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom,” which was signed by Governor Baldacci. The bill, which recognized marriages for same-sex couples under state law, was to have taken effect in September 2009. However, opponents of equality blocked implementation of the new law by gathering enough signatures to place the question of marriage equality on the ballot. In November 2009, the people of Maine voted in favor of Question 1, which overturned Maine’s marriage equality law. Domestic Partnerships remain in place.

Citation: ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 19 § 701; tit. 15, §321; tit. 18-A, §1-201, 2-202, 3-203, 5-311, 5-410; tit. 19-A, §4002; tit. 22, §2710, 2843, 2846; LD 1020.

Updated: Wed, November 04, 2009 - 12:00:47