Wednesday October 17, 2012 | 05:59 PM

Former Gov. John Baldacci donned a Catholics for Marriage Equality apron in Bangor tonight to host the first of two spaghetti suppers to show his support for gay marriage.

Wearing a turtle neck, slacks, tennis shoes and the apron, the governor ladled spaghetti onto plates at the Bangor High School cafeteria. The Democrat signed gay marriage into law in 2009, only to see it repealed by voters 53-47 percent.

"I evolved on the issue," he said, sounding a bit like President Obama. "I had always thought that civil unions were the state's responsibility and marriages were in the church."

But he asked his legal adviser at the time, Pat Ende, to research the issue and changed his mind when Ende told him there were hundreds of places in Maine law that provided benefits and responsibilities only to married couples.

"You can't have different categories for different people," he said just before the dinner began.

Baldacci, who grew up in a large Catholic family in Bangor, is now working in Portland at Pierce Atwood, where he's a senior adviser on economic development.

Catholics for Marriage Equality cooked enough spaghetti for 300, and plans to donate the proceeds to Bangor area homeless shelters. Volunteers at the spaghetti supper included Baldacci Chief of Staff Jane Lincoln and lobbyist Severin Beliveau. Cheryl Clukey, mother of Winter Olympian Julia Clukey helped serve, as did former Green Independent gubernatorial candidate Pat LaMarche. Jack Cashman, who served as Baldacci's economic adviser, was spotted waiting in line and former Rep. Eddie Dugay, D-Cherryfield, was there as well.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
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Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
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Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
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