Trend Reversed, Gay Rights Law Upheld
By Proxy Author, Proxy Author for Import
For the first time in three tries, Mainers voted to uphold a gay rights law passed by the Legislature that bans discrimination against gays in housing, employment and education, according to early reports from news sources compiling district-by-district results. Voters narrowly struck down similar laws in 1998 and 2000. Tuesday, they sustained the law by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, according to unofficial tallies. Maine becomes the last of the six New England states to enforce this type of anti-discrimination measure.
- Voters also OK'd four of five state spending proposals on transportation, environment, economic development and conservation. The fate of a bond issue on higher education facility upgrades remains too close to call.
- A constitutional amendment to aid Maine's commercial fishing industry in the form of tax breaks passed overwhelmingly. Taxing of waterfront land used by fishing businesses now will be assessed at actual use rates rather than its more lucrative market value.