2017 Legislative Report

The 2017 Legislative Session was a busy one for EqualityMaine.  There were three bills that would have had negative impacts for LGBT Mainers.  We are proud to report that we worked with our partner organizations to defeat all three bills. There was also one pro-active bill that we worked to pass to extend our current non-discrimination protections.

LD 121 - An Act to Require Photographic Identification to Vote

Many transgender Mainers face challenges in updating or even obtaining the ID’s that would be required by this bill. A person’s current ID may not list their name or gender correctly, or they may not have a photo that best reflects their current gender expression, creating a situation where a trans voter could be turned away at a polling place. EqualityMaine opposed this bill, and it was defeated!

LD 155 - An Act To Protect Voting Integrity by Establishing a Residency Verification Requirement for Purposes of Voting

This bill specifically targeted college students who live in dorms, placing additional burdens on them to establish proof of residency in order to vote.  From our experience with 6 statewide referendums in 17 years, we know that young people voting can mean the difference between winning and losing, and we oppose any attempts to suppress their votes. EqualityMaine opposed this bill, and it was defeated!

LD 505 - An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Issuance of Birth Certificates for Adopted Persons Born in Maine

This bill would prohibit the issuance, after adoption, of a birth certificate naming the adoptive parents as the legal parents of their own child - a radical departure from the law and practice of every other state that would significantly harm Maine families with adoptive parents, including those with LGBT adoptive parents. EqualityMaine opposed this bill, and it was defeated!

LD 611 - An Act to Amend Certain Laws Affecting the Judicial Branch

Access to a trial by a jury of one’s peers is an American right, and Maine law has long prohibited discrimination in service on a jury based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, economic status, marital status, age or physical handicap. However, Maine law did not explicitly prohibit discrimination in jury service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers cannot be truly realized without protections from discrimination during the process of jury selection, and the lack of equal representation in juries could result in unfair trials, particularly for victims or defendants who are LGBT

This bill proposed to explicitly prohibit discrimination in jury service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. EqualityMaine supported this bill, and it was passed into law!

  

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