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ME Judicial Committee Vote on LD 1020: 11-2-1 “Ought To Pass”

So now LD 1020 goes to the Senate.

LD 1118 (which would have expanded the DP rights to include families) was voted down 14-0 and is gone.

Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary

Senator Lawrence Bliss (D-Cumberland), Chair

Senator Barry J. Hobbins (D-York)

Senator David R. Hastings III (R-Oxford)

Representative Charles R. Priest (D-Brunswick), Chair

Representative Mark E. Bryant (D-Windham)

Representative Cynthia A. Dill (D-Cape Elizabeth)

Representative Richard C. Cleary (D-Houlton)

Representative Dawn Hill (D-York)

Representative Charles B. Kruger (D-Thomaston)

Representative Sara R. Stevens (D-Bangor)

Representative Joan M. Nass (R-Acton)*

Representative Michael G. Beaulieu (R-Auburn)

Representative Jarrod S. Crockett (R-Bethel)

Representative Wayne T. Mitchell (Penobscot Nation)

*Ranking Minority Member

Committee Clerk: Susan Pinette

Policy Analyst: Margaret Reinsch (Office of Policy & Legal Analysis)

Highlighted above are the 2 opposed; Hastings was the one who wanted the bill relabeled, rewritten and sent out directly to referendum in November.

That was opposed, btw.

Okay, so that is today’s final score- below are some photos and story of the one protestor who got arrested today! (sorry- videos over Youtube’s 10 minute limit! sigh…)Mike Heath was there but did not take a seat in the main room btw. There were many opponents there, including Mr. Yellowbear from last week’s public hearing.

But the big story was the loud protest, hauling out of the work session by capitol police and presumably arrest of an opposition grandmother who had testified at the public hearing last week.

Before she testified, she waved around a bunch of signs outside the Civic Center and deliberately hit an attorney (witnessed by a friend and related to me right after the assault), knocking all of the files and papers out of the attorney’s arms. She (the attorney) quietly gathered them back up and went onward.

As she (the attorney) was also at the session today, I do wonder what thoughts went through her head.

~         ~       ~      ~       ~      ~

This week, Crazed Ranting Gramma tried before the session began to bring in the same signs she had with her last week (see photo) but was told by the clerk firmly (and repeatedly) that she was not allowed to do so.


Senator Lawrence Bliss introduced himself, described the process to the audience, then all at the committee introduced themselves as well.

LD 1118 was read by Rep. Les Fossel, discussed among the members and rather quickly voted down.

Then LD 1020 was brought up and discussed.

Hill said she supported the bill.

Kruger did as well, with a statement of “live and let live”.

Cleary spoke in support as well, with comments regarding the Iowa decision.

Crockett opposed.

Stevens spoke of the moving testimonies of Robert Talbot (who was there today) and of 87 year old Philip Spooner, a chaplain. Spooner, when asked whether or not he supported marriage for all and LGBT rights had said, “What do you think our boys died at Ohama Beach for?”

Senator Bliss spoke of last week’s hearing and that over 2000 comment sheets were collected. They were all burned onto CDs and made available to the entire committee.

Dill responded that she normally answers all correspondences, but as she has been overwhelmed by thousands of communications, was not going to be able to do so. She will vote for the bill, with no hesitancy at all.

Bryant said that for him, it came down to discrimination. We (Maine) need equality and it current;y just isn’t there.

That was enough for CRG. She started to let loose and just would NOT stop!  

Though we were all admonished at the beginning of the session that we were all permitted to be there and witness but not to speak, at least twice she interrupted the committee to ask if she could speak and be heard.

And kept going… and going… and going…

In fact, Senator Bliss stopped the session to ask the woman to stop and repeatedly gave her chances to control herself- he was very calm and courteous. Eventually, he had to call for a 3 minute recess while security removed CRG to the hallway, where she continued to scream.

Her words echoed very clearly and I scribbled down as much as I could:

This is wrong!

This is immoral!

They are not leaders!

I’ll speak truth- I will be heard!

This is a hugely moral issue!


They’re liars!

Go ahead, what are you going to do?

Take me to jail!

Rinse and repeat… she went on for about 10 minutes altogether.

Eventually order was restored and the remainder of the committee settled down to finish their discussion.

Nass said that she would vote no, “as this is what she has been told to do by 90% of her district”.

Then Larry Bliss spoke, telling of his 3 children aged 7, 10 and 13 years old. He tells them that his job is to take time to make laws to make Maine a better place. A place that treats everyone fairly and with respect. That this is what this discussion is all about- all about fairness, respect and dignity. HE said that he is a gay man and while this is extremely personal for him, he worked hard to remove the personal aspects as to see the bill and issues for what they are.

That it is all about fairness.  

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