Town Officials Speak Out in Opposition to Question 1

Town officials met in Bangor today in support of No on 1.  They reiterated yet again that LD 1020 will end discrimination in civil marriage and continue protecting religious freedoms.  The officials representing communities in several eastern and central Maine counties.  The officials, some of whom were former school board members, reiterated that there is nothing in LD 1020 that would impact what is taught in public education.  “I also taught Sunday School at Hancock Congregational Church for many years.  Teaching about marriage and moral values belongs rightly in church and in the home.”, said one speaker.  Read the full statement after the cut.

Bangor, Maine (Friday October 16, 2009) – Municipal officials representing cities and towns in Penobscot, Hancock, Somerset and Kennebec counties joined together on the steps of Bangor City Hall to support equality and endorse the NO on 1 campaign.

Key spokespersons reiterated that the law, passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in May, ends discrimination in civil marriage and protects religious freedom.  These local officials said they believed marriage makes both families and their communities stronger and they rejected Question 1 campaign claims that local schools would be impacted in any way.

“In my 21 years on the Hancock School Board, our focus was on core subjects – reading, writing, math and science,” said Lois Johnson.  “I also taught Sunday School at Hancock Congregational Church for many years.  Teaching about marriage and moral values belongs rightly in church and in the home.”

According to Karen Kusiak, who has served on the Fairfield School Board for more than 10 years, there is nothing in the law or Question 1 that has anything to do with schools or education.  “As a parent, educator and school board member, I can assure you that decisions about schools are made by us – people who really care about and know our communities and out children.  All the marriage equality law does is ensure that no family is discriminated against,” stated Ms. Kusiak.

“Our council meetings and the school committee meetings are open to the public, and public comment is always welcome.  Public comment is valued because the diversity of our political and religious beliefs makes us a stronger community,” said Pam Perkins, Ellsworth City Council.  “Our Maine values of fairness and equality make us stronger, too.  Everyone should be treated equally under the law. And I believe that marriage offers important protections to all our families which makes our community stronger.”

In closing, Waterville City Councilor Thomas Longstaff said, “I want to hear more about what is really at issue here and that is whether all residents of Maine will be afforded the same rights and protections under Maine law. While private organizations may adopt different standards for their own activities there is no valid reason to treat gay and lesbian couples differently with respect to their status and rights as citizens of Maine. For me this is a question of social justice, which unfortunately we must sometimes legislate; it is not one of morality, which we should never attempt to legislate. I urge you to join me in voting no on Question 1.”

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