Good news from Maine and a nice statement by Governor John Baldacci:
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Baldacci said in a written statement. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”
I think the civil unions fudge is very appealing to a lot of fair-minded but cautious politicians. Ultimately, however, it doesn’t make a ton of sense. If you want to be fair-minded, then you should do the fair thing.
Meanwhile, note that the purported “backlash effect” against judge-driven steps to marriage equality is never to be found. Instead, different paths to the same goal work in tandem. Political institutions and political circumstances are different in different jurisdictions. It’s very smart of equality advocates to press forward through the different plausible routes available to them.