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.