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Maine Law Review

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Maine's "Act To Protect Traditional Marriage And Prohibit Same-Sex Marriages": Questions Of Constitutionality Under State And Federal Law, Jennifer B. Wriggins Mar 2018

Maine's "Act To Protect Traditional Marriage And Prohibit Same-Sex Marriages": Questions Of Constitutionality Under State And Federal Law, Jennifer B. Wriggins

Maine Law Review

In 1997, Maine's Legislature passed “An Act to Protect Traditional Marriage and Prohibit Same-Sex Marriages” (Act). The summary attached to the bill states that the bill “prohibits persons of the same sex from contracting marriage.” The bill was the verbatim text of an initiative petition. Civil marriage in Maine and other states is regulated by state statute, and marriage regulation is generally considered to be within the state's police power. However, the state's power to regulate marriage is subject to constitutional limitations. I maintain that “heightened scrutiny” should be applied to the Act because the Act creates a gender-based classification, …