What Maine's new Democratic government means for LGBTQ equality.
It's officially been an entire week since Mainers resoundingly voted to put Maine back on a path toward a brighter, more prosperous future. With the election of Governor-Elect Janet Mills, a Democrat from Farmington and Maine's current attorney general, and majorities in both the State Senate and the State House, LGBTQ Mainers especially are celebrating the anticipated change-in-tone and policy agenda.
Bill banning conversion therapy will be reintroduced.
State Rep. Ryan Fecteau's (D-Biddeford) bill to ban conversion therapy, which initially passed both the House and Senate but failed to garner the votes needed to override Governor Lepage's veto, will be reintroduced once the new legislative session begins.
LGBTQ Mainers will have pro-equality administration and legislature.
A Democratic majority in both houses in Augusta and a Democratic administration will mean that LGBTQ Mainers will have a government that stands up for equality and equal treatment and protection of all, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This is particularly important given the Trump administration's hostility toward the Trans community. You can find a list compiled by the National Center for Transgender Equality here.
Trans Mainers and the LGBTQ community at-large can rest assured that Governor-elect Janet Mills has our backs.
She was endorsed by Equality Maine, which lists her record on their website:
- As a legislator in 2005, Janet was a strong supporter of a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- In 2009, shortly after being elected Maine’s first female attorney general, Janet joined more than 4,000 of us in the “sea of red” at the Augusta Civic Center to testify in favor of our historic marriage equality bill.
- In 2014, Janet spoke out against dangerous legislation that would have allowed religious exemptions to weaken Maine's non-discrimination law.
- And since 2016, Janet has joined other attorneys general from across the country in federal lawsuits against the Trump administration to stop their efforts to discriminate in our nation’s schools and armed forces.
Democratic government means hard-won progress will be protected.
Maine has some of the strongest non-discrimination laws in the country - laws that protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Maine was also one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
This progress has increasingly drawn ire from far-right legislators who have gone so far as to introduce versions of the "Bathroom Bill" that was being introduced in state legislatures all over the country.
But with the new Democratic government, LGBTQ Mainers can rest assured that all the hard-won progress will be protected and that LGBTQ equality, particularly when it comes to Trans rights, will have strong allies in Augusta.