AUGUSTA – Late Wednesday night, after previously tabling the bill, the Maine House of Representatives finally took up LD 1904, which would have banned the brutal practice of female genital mutilation in Maine.
Tensions were high due to a political disagreement about extending the legislative session, but that did not stop Speaker Sara Gideon from openly laughing at the House rostrum as the votes came in to kill LD 1904.
In this video, pulled from the state video archive, viewers can watch Speaker Gideon alternate between counting member votes on her screen, giving hand signals to unidentified individuals in the back of the chamber and calling for the remaining members to vote.
When enough votes have been cast to ensure defeat of the bill, Speaker Gideon takes a call on the phone at her rostrum and begins to openly laugh.
She eventually sits down to continue talking and laughing before standing back up to announce the results of the roll call vote that ended the chances of passage for LD 1904.
Speaker Gideon’s phone call and open laughing start at about 2 minutes and 40 seconds in this video.