Corrections

The referendum I spoke of yesterday has been approved for circulation for the 2010 ballot according to Citizen’s Initiative and People’s Veto website. There is no mention of it on any of Michael Heath’s (the proponent of the measure) ventures.

The Maine Family Policy Council/Christian Civic League and Stand for Marriage Maine are focused on the upcoming People’s Veto of Maine’s same-sex marriage bill.

I apologize for any confusion. Thanks to everyone who pointed out my errors.

Same-Sex Marriage OK in Maine

Gov. Baldachi signs LD 1020 into law making same-sex marriage legal in Maine…Well almost.

The law goes into effect 90 days after this session adjourns in June. So same-sex couples can start getting hitched then. No big deal…Not quite.

In Maine we have a little thing called the People’s Veto. Because Maine government has no faith in itself to make good decisions, they allow voters to propose a referendum on the ballot to reject any given piece of legislature. Sometimes a People’s veto is worthwhile, but mostly it just delays the already sluggish process of Maine government.

In any case, if same-sex marriage opponents can collect 55,087 signatures of registered voters and submit there veto before the end of the session the LD1020 will be up for a vote this November.

Quit partying. The fight is far from over.

Maine Gay Marriage UPDATE

The Maine House will vote today on LD1020, the “same -sex marriage” bill. Supports believe it will have no trouble passing the House. Of the 64 co-sponsors of the bill 54 were from the House. More as it comes.

One Step Closer to Equality

LD 1020 (the marriage equality bill) has passed the Maine Senate 21 to 14 after some debate on amendments. On to the House!

…Of course the looming threat of the “People’s Veto” will surely surface in November.

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?”

Sunday Editorial on Editorials – Interracial & gay marriage compared

‘Time to end all forms of discrimination’

Sometimes when I hear arguments against gay marriage I just have to laugh. The logic used by many opponents is so flawed if the situation wasn’t so serious you’d have to chuckle. A favorite of mine is that if we allow homosexuals to marry the western world would collapse in a pagan firestorm. Ok I’m exaggerating that last part a little bit for dramatic effect.

It’s easy to forget, especially for those of us too young to remember, that people used that same biblical argument for other things not so long ago. A writer in the Kennebec Journal highlighted that in a letter to the editor this morning.

from Kennebec Journal

Many years ago, I picked up a few extra dollars working evenings at a major grocery chain in affluent McLean, Va. I worked with a young veteran who was friendly but reluctant to discuss his personal life. Jimmy did share that he could not get married which seemed strange to me at the time.

As he became more comfortable with me, Jimmy said he lived with a partner and was very much in love but that state laws would not allow him to marry. I was puzzled and he explained that people felt that it was not allowed according to the Bible and if allowed it would undermine all legitimate marriages.

Jimmy had to keep his relationship secret and was careful not to let anyone know where he lived because there had been threats.

This was how someone was being treated after serving his country for three years, helping to ensure freedom and equality for all citizens. It didn’t seem right then and it doesn’t seem right now.

I should explain that neither Jimmy nor his partner was gay. Jimmy was a black male and his partner was a white female, but the same old tired reasons that were used then to prevent marriage between different races are being used today to prevent same-gender marriage. Now is the time to end all forms of discrimination.

The US government maintained a ban on interracial marriage until 1967. The Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case ended all race based legal restrictions against marriage. According to 2006 census estimates 2,293,000 people in the were married to someone of a different race. I’m sitting here writing this to you, my electricity is still on, wild hounds are not patrolling my backyard, and Mad Maxish bands are not accosting challenging me to the Thunderdome. Races have been allowed to intermarry for 30 plus years and the apocalypse has not come yet. I think it’s safe to say that when it does interracial marriage will not be a catalyst.

Gay marriage rights have been linked to the Loving case before. The New York Supreme Court stated that racial civil rights and homosexual civil rights cannot be linked because their histories are so different. The case stated we had only recently begun to think of GLBT people as deserving equal rights. Where they state that racial rights had been seen as necessary in the 50s, the movement which began in the late 60s was far to recent to act upon.

Mildred Loving made few public statements during her lifetime. “We loved each other and got married. We are not marrying the state.” is a great of hers given a few years before the Supreme Court’s decision. Mrs. Loving reminded us shortly before she died why interracial marriage rights and gay marriage rights are inextricably linked.

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.


Sunday Editorial on Editorials – Interracial & gay marriage compared

‘Time to end all forms of discrimination’

Sometimes when I hear arguments against gay marriage I just have to laugh. The logic used by many opponents is so flawed if the situation wasn’t so serious you’d have to chuckle. A favorite of mine is that if we allow homosexuals to marry the western world would collapse in a pagan firestorm. Ok I’m exaggerating that last part a little bit for dramatic effect.

It’s easy to forget, especially for those of us too young to remember, that people used that same biblical argument for other things not so long ago. A writer in the Kennebec Journal highlighted that in a letter to the editor this morning.

from Kennebec Journal

Many years ago, I picked up a few extra dollars working evenings at a major grocery chain in affluent McLean, Va. I worked with a young veteran who was friendly but reluctant to discuss his personal life. Jimmy did share that he could not get married which seemed strange to me at the time.

As he became more comfortable with me, Jimmy said he lived with a partner and was very much in love but that state laws would not allow him to marry. I was puzzled and he explained that people felt that it was not allowed according to the Bible and if allowed it would undermine all legitimate marriages.

Jimmy had to keep his relationship secret and was careful not to let anyone know where he lived because there had been threats.

This was how someone was being treated after serving his country for three years, helping to ensure freedom and equality for all citizens. It didn’t seem right then and it doesn’t seem right now.

I should explain that neither Jimmy nor his partner was gay. Jimmy was a black male and his partner was a white female, but the same old tired reasons that were used then to prevent marriage between different races are being used today to prevent same-gender marriage. Now is the time to end all forms of discrimination.

The US government maintained a ban on interracial marriage until 1967. The Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case ended all race based legal restrictions against marriage. According to 2006 census estimates 2,293,000 people in the were married to someone of a different race. I’m sitting here writing this to you, my electricity is still on, wild hounds are not patrolling my backyard, and Mad Maxish bands are not accosting challenging me to the Thunderdome. Races have been allowed to intermarry for 30 plus years and the apocalypse has not come yet. I think it’s safe to say that when it does interracial marriage will not be a catalyst.

Gay marriage rights have been linked to the Loving case before. The New York Supreme Court stated that racial civil rights and homosexual civil rights cannot be linked because their histories are so different. The case stated we had only recently begun to think of GLBT people as deserving equal rights. Where they state that racial rights had been seen as necessary in the 50s, the movement which began in the late 60s was far to recent to act upon.

Mildred Loving made few public statements during her lifetime. “We loved each other and got married. We are not marrying the state.” is a great of hers given a few years before the Supreme Court’s decision. Mrs. Loving reminded us shortly before she died why interracial marriage rights and gay marriage rights are inextricably linked.

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.


Maine Gay Marriage Opponents Resort to Playground Tactics

I had to read this twice just to be sure my brain was functioning properly. Yup it is. Apparently gay marriage opponents feel that a playground rhyme makes a good argument.

from Maine Sentinel

Arguments in favor of same-sex marriage have been stated as follows:

1. If we do permit and encourage homosexual marriage, it will bring a lot of money to our state. So, the biggest consideration is financial gain.

2. It has nothing to do with religion. Those with strong religious views are narrow-minded bigots who should stick to their beliefs and let others do the same.

Such reasoning is not based on truth and moral values, but on materialism and human reasoning.

May I suggest that perhaps our Creator be allowed to say a word.

In the beginning God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Marriage was God’s plan, not man’s, intended for the good of mankind. The Apostle Paul said there were some things that are against nature.

We cannot argue with the fact that if all mankind were engaged in the homosexual union, that would be the end of mankind.

[emphasis mine]

Really? Are we still going there? Is this a debate between intelligent adults or a school yard name calling? We should be discussing this issue. Such debate is part of a healthy democracy. I will say however, debating morality and the word of God is tough. Belief of that nature is hard to debate without getting clouded by emotion, descending quickly into hateful bashing.

I don’t know why I’m opening myself up to this, but let’s try to tackle a few other things. When Guttenburg translated the bible for all to read he opened up a can of words. Now anyone can read the bible and interpret it how they wish. The vast majority of bible readers do not take the words literally. A.J. Jacobs tried that and you can see how hard it was to really take the bible word for word. So that means we now have people picking and choosing which parts to follow and which parts to conveniently ignore. Listen, Jesus was a great man with an excellent message, but I don’t follow his words in the bible exactly. Few of us do.

Because of this picking and choosing, the morality issue quickly becomes relative. What is unforgivable to me might be fine by my neighbor. If you are going to make the argument that God says we should and should not do this follow all of his words, not just some. Otherwise your argument is severely flawed.

Maine Gay Marriage Update – Bill garners huge support from lawmakers

When a bill is proposed in Maine the number of co-sponsors is normally limited to 10. Apparently so many lawmakers were eager to have their names on this bill they were forced to expand the number of sponsors allowed. The bill from Sen. Dennis Damon has been expanded to 60 co-sponsors. The amount of support is encouraging, but let’s not rest on our laurels. It’s not November yet

from Seacoast Online

AUGUSTA, Maine — The author of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine says more than 60 legislators from both parties have signed on as co-sponsors.

Democratic Sen. Dennis Damon of Trenton said those lining up in support of his bill include representatives from Maine’s smallest towns and its largest cities.

He said many legislators sought to have their names associated with the bill, prompting leadership to open it up to unlimited sponsorship. Normally, no more than 10 lawmakers can be listed as co-sponsors of a bill.

The bill would make Maine the third state, after Massachusetts and Connecticut, to allow gay marriage. Maine law currently defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Sunday Editorial on Editorials – Gay marriage and negotiation thank you

Let’s start off this weekend with an editorial from the Portland Press Herald. The writer is critical of a new argument proposed in favor of the gay marriage bills here in Maine. The argument? The bill would produce an economic boost.

from Portland Press Herald

The Williams Institute at the University of California School of Law has issued a report claiming that the Maine economy would see a $60 million boost over the next three years if same-sex couples were allowed to marry.

The study estimated how many couples would take advantage of the law and what they would spend on a wedding. It also estimated how much the state would collect in taxes and fees.

In this tough economy, it’s hard to be against anything that would help generate activity and boost tax revenues, but it is equally hard to believe that this type of analysis would help any thoughtful person come to a decision on this issue.

The gay marriage issue is one of beliefs, not of numbers. The editorial goes on to state that whether people are for or against the issue has nothing to do with economics. If people voted on these sort of things based solely on economics pot and prostitution would have long been legalized.

Linking the gay marriage issue to money only cheapens the discussion. We need to reach out to people’s hearts and minds, not their wallets. Let’s not forget that this is an issue affecting real people, people who love each other, people who are being denied rights that the rest of us, including myself at times, take for granted. There are plenty of solid reasons for people to be for or against gay marriage. Don’t be distracted by time wasting speculation.

Next we have a letter to the editor from the Bangor Daily News. The writer thanks senators Snowe and Collins for showing the courage to stand up for what they believed in and for bringing moderation to the stimulus bill. In a time when moderate Republicans are facing a firing-line of their GOP counterparts this letter is refreshing. I’ll let you read the whole thing.

from Bangor Daily News

Thinking outside the box is a term associated with progress, innovation and even brilliance. Mainers should be proud of Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for showing the courage and responsibility to not only think outside the box, but to vote outside the box on the stimulus bill. To step across a line that had metamorphosed into an almost insurmountable wall was an act of political bravery. But that is what Mainers have come to expect from both Collins and Snowe.

Collins and Snowe have been thinking, responsible members of Congress who put the good of the people at the top of their agenda. If all politicians held themselves to these standards, Congress would be a different place.

Political parties are necessary evils, but if members of those parties cannot be independent thinkers who consider and weigh issues, then the governmental process we pride ourselves on is just an illusion. The party borders need to be elastic and fluid so ideas and actions can blend and merge and the best possible answers and actions can result. Bipartisanism, compromise and negotiate — Collins and Snowe understand these words.

Snowe contributed to the stimulus bill workings not only through her position on the Senate Finance Committee, but also by trading ideas with Vice President Biden. By stepping up to the plate — and into the Oval Office to negotiate — Collins had a major role in the stimulus compromise.

Negotiated bipartisan compromise: the way government should be!

Thoughts, opinions, rants? Let’s hear ’em