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.

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The human side of the "Maine Human Rights Referendum"

This November voters will have a chance to approve or repeal the Maine Human Rights Act. If voters approve this referendum they wont actually be standing up for human rights as the title suggests. The referendum would do the following in Maine

1. Clarify marriage law limiting the institution of marriage to one man and one woman.
2. Forbid the establishment of civil unions.
3. Clarify adoption law to allow only one person, or a married couple, to adopt.
4. Remove the designation “sexual orientation” from the Maine Human Rights Act.
5. Eliminate funding for the Maine attorney general’s school civil rights team program.

There is a human side to this referendum, which we should always be in the front of our minds. RHKINC highlights the personal side of the Maine Human Rights Act on his blog Life(Politics, Current Events, Politics, Humor)

from Life:

Seeing the efforts of a civil rights team this year address obesity, and homelessness (even having a successful fundraiser for the shelter) along with numerous other racial issues I know the importance they have in Maine. There is discrimination and hatred in Maine and this group brings awareness to such problems in our public schools by having students who see it first hand be the ones to move for a more civil society.

A teenager a few years ago was killed in downtown Bangor because he was gay. His sexual orientation was the reason he was killed. Crimes of hatred should have stronger punishments and the MHRA provides for that.

The new rules for adoption would have prevented me from growing up in the best family in the world. I was adopted by two women. (They are simply lifelong friends, not lesbians; it is like the Golden Girls.) Preventing such adoption would remove so many options kids need to have in order for the best chance to grow up in a loving, providing family.

Not only preventing equal marriage, they would take away the provisions that allow some recognition to the love that same-sex couples have in the law. This vote places a civil society on the line from one of respect and equal opportunity to one of discrimination that permits hatred. This referendum must fail. Every point it makes is an insult to the cause of human rights.

The name itself could be misleading to those who vote. Seeing the title one has the internal gut reaction to support human rights and could vote yes without knowing it will actually remove rights that citizens in a country where all men are equal.

One commenter went on to make an argument I have made on this site before.

from Life:

Another point that you did not make and I understand as you were not alive then….the 5 points this group makes is very much like the inter-racial marriages of the past. Who needs a lawyer living in your bedroom seeing who you love and who you sleep with.

It would be a devastating blow to Maine if this passes. I hope there are enough rational people in this state to see through the smoke and mirrors to the heart of the issue. No one is asking for special treatment or extra rights, just to enjoy the same rights as everyone else.

This will be a tough battle, but I am hopeful that Mainers will see the light on this issue.

UPDATE:
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. I have been told Heath has dropped the issue the season, likely to focus support on the People’s Veto of the same-sex marriage bill.

Don’t Ask Obama About Gays in the Military

And the President wont tell you that he lied about them.

Back when many of us were still high off the post election pre inauguration air, then President-elect Obama said he would seek to end the “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.”, well Press Sec Gibbs did, but he is the voice of the President. Gibbs made it pretty certain the Clinton era fumble would be repealed.

from FOXNews:

“Thadeus of Lansing, Mich., asks, ‘Is the new administration going to get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy?'” said Gibbs, looking into the camera. “Thadeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it’s, ‘Yes.'”

Well, that’s a pretty definitive answer on the issue. That’s why I’m so disappointed that Gibbs’s reply on DADT was just more politics as usual.

from CNN:

A former Army captain who was dismissed under a federal law dealing with gays and lesbians in the military lost his appeal Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court.

James Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans had sued the government over the “don’t ask/ don’t tell” law passed in 1993.

Pietrangelo was the only one who appealed to the high court, but the justices without comment refused to intervene.

The Obama administration had asked the high court not to take the case, and White House officials had said they would not object to homosexuals being kicked out of the armed services.

I’m not a greenhorn when it comes to politics and politicians. Things are often said during campaigns that wont or can’t be done. Obama’s promise was made after he was elected. There is no way around Gibbs’s answer on DADT either. When you say “yes it will be changed” then do a complete 180 that is nothing but a lie. I would have rather had some sort of non-answer than this.

Way to stand up for change Mr. President. Real proud of ya on this one!

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?”