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Maine unveils same-sex marriage bill

AUGUSTA, Maine, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Same-sex marriages would be allowed in Maine under a bill introduced by a Democratic state lawmaker, political observers said.

The measure, introduced by state Sen. Dennis Damon, is entitled, "An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedoms," CNN reported Wednesday.

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The legislation is supported by the Maine group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which held a news conference Tuesday to support the bill. The group's project director, Mary Bonauto, told reporters, "Loving, committed same-sex couples in my home state deserve all the rights and responsibilities of marriage."

Democratic Maine Gov. John Baldacci released a statement indicating that he is focusing on the state's faltering economy, but also noting that in the past he has "opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," the broadcaster said.

Massachusetts and Connecticut are only states that currently allow same-sex marriage.

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