In Maine, 150 statutes use the term “marry,” “marital” or “marriage”; and 425 statues use the term “spouse,” “husband” or “wife,” according to research conducted by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

Here are some examples of the benefits of being married, according to GLAD:

* Taxes: Only married couples can transfer property or monetary gifts to each other during the marriage without paying taxes.

* Lawsuits: Married couples cannot be compelled to testify against each other in court.

* Death benefits: For work-related deaths or injuries, only spouses can receive worker’s compensation benefits or file an action against a negligent employer. When a police officer or firefighter dies in the line of duty, the surviving spouse gets a $50,000 death benefit from the state. Also, the surviving spouse and children are entitled to a tuition waiver for college at state schools.

* Retirement: The state retirement system pays survivor benefits solely to a surviving spouse and/or dependent children.

* Health insurance: While the state requires all carriers in Maine to offer domestic-partner insurance, companies are not required to offer it to their employees. The premiums cost the same for domestic partners that they do for spouses, but the employee who insures a domestic partner is taxed by the state and federal government on the benefit, while spouses are not.

* Divorce: The term applies only to married persons, so same-sex couples do not have the same ability to dissolve their relationships through the courts.

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