Maine became the second state in the United States to validly legalize same-sex marriage through its legislative process today, and the first state to do so with a governor’s signature. Maine joins Vermont, which legalized same-sex marriage in April with a legislative veto override, as one of two states to have established legal same-sex marriage through a valid, Constitutional process. Maine’s state legislature passed the bill today, and it was signed by Governor John Baldacci (D) within hours.

New Hampshire’s state legislature passed a similar bill today which has not yet been reviewed by Governor John Lynch (D).

Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts also recognize same-sex marriage, but do so due to illicit and unconstitutional judicial rulings. California recognized same-sex marriage through a similar court ruling last year, but Californians amended the state Constitution in November to reassert the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This amendment overruled the illicit court ruling.

The Washington, DC, city council also passed a resolution yesterday which would recognize in the federal District of Columbia those same-sex marriages performed in other states, but not permit those marriages to be performed in the District. Upon approval by Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), who has announced his support for the resolution, it will be sent to Congress for a 30-day review period. After this period, if not rejected by Congress, the resolution will become law.