House approves anti-gay-discrimination bill -- The Maine Archive on the Queer Resources Directory

United Press International

Friday May 9, 1997

Maine on the verge of formally banning discrimination against homosexuals

AUGUSTA, Maine, May 9 (UPI) -- Maine is on the verge of formally enacting a law banning discrimination against homosexuals in employment, credit and housing.

Both houses of the Legislature were expected to give formal approval to the measure today (Friday) or early next week, and Gov. Angus King has said he will sign it.

The House voted 84-61 Thursday to extend the special civil rights to gays and lesbians, one day after a 28-5 vote for the same measure in the Senate.

It marks the first time in two decades there's been agreement on homosexual rights in Maine.

The measure would expand discrimination laws that now apply to race, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry and physical handicap to include sexual orientation.

The leading opponent of the bill, Concerned Maine Families Director Carolyn Cosby, promised "It's likely we will work for a referendum on this aimed at repealing the law" by popular vote.

The only openly gay member of the Maine House called the vote "an historic protection."

Democratic Rep. Michael Quint of Portland thanked his colleagues, adding that without such protection, "I carry around the fear that discrimination against me could happen anytime."

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