The recent votes by the New Jersey senate to legalize marriage equality for same-sex couples stands to further isolate Maine among Northeastern states, most of which have laws banning marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens. As a member of the Maine House, I was proud to vote for the law making Maine the first state in the region to legalize marriage equality. And I will work on behalf of my friends, neighbors and colleagues in the LGBT community to ensure passage of the measure at the ballot box this November. Whatever one's views on homosexuality, Mainers are fair-minded people who "live and let live." For many of us, gay and lesbian people are our friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters. None of us should tolerate measures that prohibit their pursuit of happiness or equal protection under the law.