New & Noteworthy:

Maine

Maine is the 23rd U.S. state, admitted to the Union on March 15, 1820. Its capital is Augusta and largest city is Portland.

LGBT Rights in Maine: Same-sex marriage became legal in Maine on Dec. 29, 2012, approved by 53 percent of voters in a ballot referendum on Nov. 7, 2012. The Maine Human Rights Act penalizes discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation or “actual or perceived” gender identity or expression.” Maine’s hate crimes law explicitly addresses sexual orientation, but not gender identity. Maine permits single LGBT persons and same-sex couples to petition to adopt.

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Maine GOP didn’t get the message that voters legalized same-sex marriage

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Maine
BANGOR – Maine Republicans kicked off their convention on Friday by adopting a new platform that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, despite the fact that the state’s voters have already decided the issue. [...]

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Religious freedom bills: The latest effort to counter advances in marriage equality

Friday, February 28, 2014
Alex Brandon, AP
WASHINGTON – Religious freedom bills in more than a dozen state legislatures this year mark the latest effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to counter the growing public acceptance of marriage equality, and the momentum of federal court rulings striking down state gay marriage bans. [...]

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Maine state Senate rejects religious freedom bill

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Maine state capitol in Agusta.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers have rejected a bill designed to strengthen legal protections for religious freedom in the state. [...]

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Maine supreme court: Transgender student’s rights were violated

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Robert F. Bukaty, APTransgender student Nicole Maines, center, with her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine on June 12, 2013.
PORTLAND, Maine -- School officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls' bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that's believed to be the first of its kind. [...]

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Gay rights group rebuked for endorsing gay U.S. rep in Maine governor’s race

Friday, January 3, 2014
Mike Michaud
AUGUSTA, Maine -- A governor's race endorsement for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud by the group that successfully pushed for same-sex marriage in Maine drew a swift rebuke Thursday from independent Eliot Cutler, who pointed out inconsistencies in the congressman's record when it comes to supporting gay rights during his time [...]

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More than 1500 gay couples wed in Maine’s first year of marriage equality

Sunday, December 29, 2013
Robert F. Bukaty, APIn this Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, file photo, Steven Bridges, left, receives a wedding ring from Michael Snell at City Hall in Portland, Maine. The couple made history as the first same-sex couple to be married in the state under Maine's new law.
PORTLAND, Maine -- Steven Bridges and Michael Snell thought they knew what they were getting into a year ago when they went to City Hall to get married. But they didn't realize that they were about to become instant celebrities. [...]

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Gay Maine congressman: Coming out has been good

Sunday, November 10, 2013
Robert F. Bukaty, APU.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)
PORTLAND, Maine -- When the intensely private U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud laid bare his private life and announced he's gay, one openly gay congressman joked that the Maine Democrat had never registered on his "gaydar." [...]

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U.S. Congressman, Maine candidate for governor announces he’s gay

Monday, November 4, 2013
Mike Michaud
PORTLAND, Maine -- A six-term congressman and former paper mill worker hoping to unseat Maine Gov. Paul LePage next year announced that he's gay - a response to what he called a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his gubernatorial bid. [...]

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Former president George H.W. Bush serves as official witness at gay wedding

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Bush-gay-wedding-2
KENNEBUNK, Maine -- Former President George H.W. Bush was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, his spokesman said Wednesday. [...]

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New website features legal info for LGBT, HIV+ youth in New England

Sunday, September 15, 2013
lgbt-youth-GLAD
BOSTON — A Boston-based LGBT legal rights advocacy group has set up a new website to provide helpful information to young people in New England about their legal rights in school, sports, work and the juvenile justice system. [...]

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