LD 1020 – Maine gay marriage debates y’all

While cooking breakfast this morning I heard a brief snippet about a gay marriage vote today here in Maine. After scouring the internets, I could find no mention of this vote. All the news outlets and the Maine government site were surprisingly silent. Hopefully by the time you read this something will be up to prove I’m not going crazy. UPDATE: I did mishear. They were talking about the vote yesterday in favor of moving the bill to the legislature.

LD 1020, if passed, will legally recognize any marriage between two adults, gender specific terms being removed. It also reaffirms that this will not infringe in any way on religious teachings, meaning no church can be penalized for choosing who they will or will not marry.

Last week citizens on each side of the issue met in Augusta to voice their opinions on gay marriage. The Portland Phoenix offers a “play-by-play” of the event. My wife discouraged me from reading the thing as yelling at a weekly paper is less than productive. The article was quite good, a reminder of why twitting news just doesn’t always cut it. The piece echoes something a woman who attended the meeting told me; all of the arguments of those opposed were either biblical, junk science, wives’ tales, and easily refuted.

Highlights:
One woman read a poem entitled “The Manly Man” as her argument. The poem was of dubious quality, which of course is my opinion. “The world delights in the manly man, and the weak and evil flee/When the manly man goes forth to hold his own on land or sea.” The article says the author is unknown, but I found the full poem by “jollynoblefrog” at this site.

Reverend Steve Young stated, “Gay people get sick more often than straight people. If we do this, your Anthem bills will go up.” That may be true, or horribly false, but then what does that have to do with marriage? By the logic Rev. Young uses, homosexuals get sick more often just because they are gay. Their mere existence leads to their increased illness. So marriage is not really a factor.

One man opposed gay marriage on the grounds that his wife of 10 years left him for another woman. Perhaps if she could have married a woman in the first place that wouldn’t have happened. In any case, wouldn’t you rather people be in loving marriages than unhappy mismatches?

A WWII veteran said these inspiring words: “I was asked by a woman at a polling place recently if I believed in equal rights for all people. I told her that’s what I fought for on Omaha Beach.”

Some prophetic words to end with that speak to more than just this issue: “We are Republicans and Christians,” says an LD 1020 supporter standing next to her husband at the podium. “Love thy neighbor as yourself. The young people get this, you know?”

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Are We There Yet? – More Craziness from the Pine Tree State

I can’t believe we aren’t past these kind of arguments yet.

Maine Civil Rights Update

Another bill has been announced by Rep. Leslie Fossel on the issue of gay marriage. The Bangor Daily News reported Saturday that the new bill “would extend to couples on Maine’s Domestic Partner Registry the same legal rights and benefits as married couple”.

The biggest problem equality groups in Maine have with this bill is that it still creates a “sperate but equal” institution. Anyone who paid attention in high school history knows how well that works.

Proponents of traditional marriage are coming out against both Rep. Fossel’s bill and Sen. Damon’s more progressive bill. Rev. Bob Emrich of the Maine Marriage Alliance stated, “If Rep. Fossel thinks this is not going to be contentious or divisive, he has not been paying attention. He doesn’t understand what is going on in Maine.” Considering Mainers voted to uphold an anti-discrimination law a few years ago its safe to say the Reverend is a bit out of touch.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Maine Family Policy Council both stated they would likely come out against the bills as well.

This is going to be a tough fight. I would not be surprised to see national coverage of this story over the comming months.

Sunday Editorial on Editorials

There have been a lot of words flying around lately about Maine’s upcoming equal marriage rights law. The editorial pages of the Kennebec Journal contained some views on the subject this Sunday.

The first is from a person I would assume to be an avid Catholic – as apposed to me who is an extremely lapsed Catholic. I don’t even make it to church on Christmas. The writer has solved the gay marriage problem for everyone. They look to the Bible. Frankly I’m surprised no one thought of that before. The Bible quite clearly states “Let no man lay with another.” Thank you for pointing that out Beverly. No one had thought of using that argument before. Do you know why they wrote that in the Bible? That little gem was included to encourage men and women to marry Catholic then have babies and baptize them in the Church, thus furthering the Church’s following. Even though God may have had an influence on the Bible, a man’s hand put in on paper and men are imperfect.

The writer goes on to state that she believes gay men has a very challenging life. I am not gay so I don’t presume to know how difficult life is for someone who is. Beverly being neither a man nor, I assume, homosexual cannot properly judge either. It isn’t so much her deeming a gay life a challenging one, but what she says makes it challenging really irks me. According to Beverly a gay man has only to paths in life: to remain celibate or get married and “procreate only when you want have children”. That’s it. There is black and there is white. There is the Catholic way, which Beverly says, “makes husbands and wives respect each other”. If my wife had not still been asleep I would have laughed a good long belly laugh. Beverly must have never read Brideshead Revisited.

There have been plenty of unhappy, sexless Catholic marriages between two heterosexual couples that “procreate” only to have children. I wont even get into all those priest who were supposed to be celibate and well you know the rest. A gay man could never be happy without kids. Everyone wants children. And of course gay couples can’t adopt a child who is in need either. Then, I’m assuming that gay men should even be allowed to be couples. What kind of world are we living in?!

This just highlights the hard road Maine’s equal marriage rights bill has ahead. You see Maine allows citizens to write a people’s veto of any recently passed bill. Surely this bill will face that, as have others in the past. This bill is something the others weren’t. Marriage is not trying to be redefined here. Marriage will be marriage and civil unions will be civil unions. Those entering civil unions will receive the same legal benefits as married couples. This will take a big bite out of the religious argument that marriage should be kept separate. Support this bill however and whenever you can!

Sunday Editorial on Editorials

There have been a lot of words flying around lately about Maine’s upcoming equal marriage rights law. The editorial pages of the Kennebec Journal contained some views on the subject this Sunday.

The first is from a person I would assume to be an avid Catholic – as apposed to me who is an extremely lapsed Catholic. I don’t even make it to church on Christmas. The writer has solved the gay marriage problem for everyone. They look to the Bible. Frankly I’m surprised no one thought of that before. The Bible quite clearly states “Let no man lay with another.” Thank you for pointing that out Beverly. No one had thought of using that argument before. Do you know why they wrote that in the Bible? That little gem was included to encourage men and women to marry Catholic then have babies and baptize them in the Church, thus furthering the Church’s following. Even though God may have had an influence on the Bible, a man’s hand put in on paper and men are imperfect.

The writer goes on to state that she believes gay men has a very challenging life. I am not gay so I don’t presume to know how difficult life is for someone who is. Beverly being neither a man nor, I assume, homosexual cannot properly judge either. It isn’t so much her deeming a gay life a challenging one, but what she says makes it challenging really irks me. According to Beverly a gay man has only to paths in life: to remain celibate or get married and “procreate only when you want have children”. That’s it. There is black and there is white. There is the Catholic way, which Beverly says, “makes husbands and wives respect each other”. If my wife had not still been asleep I would have laughed a good long belly laugh. Beverly must have never read Brideshead Revisited.

There have been plenty of unhappy, sexless Catholic marriages between two heterosexual couples that “procreate” only to have children. I wont even get into all those priest who were supposed to be celibate and well you know the rest. A gay man could never be happy without kids. Everyone wants children. And of course gay couples can’t adopt a child who is in need either. Then, I’m assuming that gay men should even be allowed to be couples. What kind of world are we living in?!

This just highlights the hard road Maine’s equal marriage rights bill has ahead. You see Maine allows citizens to write a people’s veto of any recently passed bill. Surely this bill will face that, as have others in the past. This bill is something the others weren’t. Marriage is not trying to be redefined here. Marriage will be marriage and civil unions will be civil unions. Those entering civil unions will receive the same legal benefits as married couples. This will take a big bite out of the religious argument that marriage should be kept separate. Support this bill however and whenever you can!