Maine Marriage: Lobbying Versus Discrimination
Apropos of nothing in this post, but VERY close to my heart, a big THANK YOU to Joe Biden for his support of Special Olympics.
This action and attention by the Obama administration hopefully bode well for the future of America’s disabled, including our younger daughter Jean.
It’s really quite easy to understand: one side of this debate is lobbying FOR ALL to have marriage rights in Maine, while the other side is lobbying AGAINST All having marriage rights.
A bill to be considered this legislative session would legalize marriage between same sex couples. Pat Peard, of the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition, acknowledges that lawmakers have a lot to deal with this session but the time for this bill has come.
“My response about whether this is the right time is that its always the right time when you’re talking about equal rights for all citizens in the state of Maine,” says Peard.
But not everybody agrees. Michael Heath of the Maine Christian Civic League says the proposed law is about making certain grown-ups happy. He’s concerned about the children.
“What we need to be asking,” says Heath, “is what do these innocent, impressionable, precious, very important little children need as they are maturing. Do they need a father and a mother? We think they do.”
(There’s video that goes with this story, but it’s being a nuisance for me…)
More below…Supporters lobbied at the Statehouse with valentines on Thursday:
About a dozen gay and lesbian couples came to the Statehouse today to talk about why they think they should be allowed to legally marry in Maine.
And, they handed out Valentines to state lawmakers as they made their way into the morning session.
“Our stories, our lives, our love and our commitment to each other are what is truly at the heart of marriage in Maine,” said Jill Barkley of Portland who spoke with her partner, Diane Hitchcock, at her side. “Being able to legally commit to one another as spouses will secure our life together and provide added protection for our future family.”
The Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition is lobbying legislators to support a bill sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, who is sponsoring a bill to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maine.
I like this elegant and simple idea ALOT (passing out valentines)- demonstrate that marriage is about love.
Simple gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness are some of the special moments within a marriage that right now, too many of my fellow Mainers are not by law able to share. Sure, one can give and receive valentines- but it is very special indeed when it serves as a reminder of one’s vows, promise and commitment.
Okay, so I’m a romantic sap at heart.
Now for the discrimination part, and it ain’t pretty.
Apparently those who are against equal marriage in Maine know they’re losing the battle of public opinion, so in their desperation they’re “calling in one of the big guns”- Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Stand for Marriage Rally – Augusta, Maine
Join us as we rally to defeat same-sex marriage in Maine!
Sunday, February 15
6 – 8 PM
Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
Tony Perkins – Family Research Council
Charla Bansley – Concerned Women for America of Maine
Michael Heath – Maine Family Policy Council
The Hon. Rich Cebra – Maine House of Representatives
Bob Emrich – Maine Jeremiah Project
Admission is free, but ticket is required. To obtain tickets, visit www.mainemarriage.net
Bangor Daily News reported last week that opponents aren’t as well organized and that the Portland Diocese is also getting involved.
The opponents of gay marriage are not yet as well organized as supporters are. Right now, they are using the Internet as a networking tool.
The Maine Marriage Alliance’s home page on its Web site at www.mainemarriage.net not only urges visitors to contact legislators and tell them to vote against the bill, it also asks them to tell everyone in their address book about the issue.
The Portland Diocese this week launched a section on its Web site, www.mainemarriageinitiative.com, to educate Catholics about the bill. The Maine Family Policy Council, formerly the Christian Civic League of Maine, has devoted a section of its Web site to the subject.
The Rev. Bob Emrich of the Maine Marriage Alliance said that the event on Feb. 15 would be an organization meeting to help people talk about what concerns supporters of traditional marriage.
“We’re not going to be talking about homosexuality or homosexual sex,” he said Tuesday. “We’re going to be talking about traditional marriage, which is best for children and the best way to have stable families and a stable society.”
He said that supporters of traditional marriage want a respectful debate about the bills and want to start a broader conversation about marriage and its role in society.
The Diocese site is worth a look at- it’s really just “more of the same” bs we’re all used to, but someone has figured out how to set up a slick looking website.
You KNOW I’ll be updating this!