Photobucket We’re already seeing folks come from away and wave signs at traffic in Augusta, picking in this shot one of the the two most accident-prone sites in the state.

Today’s Kennebec Journal had (on section B page 3, nicely tucked out of sight) a nice big photo of 4 young white men in white shirts, ties and blazers with perfect Republican Hair (TM). One is holding some sort of banner and the others a sign. Their sign reads: “God’s Marriage= 1 man & 1 woman”. But what I really like is the quick caption under the photo:

DEMONSTRATORS HOLD BANNERS AND SIGNS and wave at traffic in a traffic island at Memorial Circle on Friday afternoon. John E. Ritchie said the demonstrators were from the The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, a Catholic group headquartered in Pennsylvania. He said that they were travelling across the region opposing proposed bills that would allow same-sex marriage. The eight men started their demonstration in the middle of the Memorial Circle but an Augusta police officer asked them to move to a traffic island.

I like this, because the reporter decided to hint at the hazardous and ill-advised placement of this demonstration, while at the same time show that Mainers are NOT going to be allowed to have this discussion (the public hearing) without out-of-staters poking their noses in- and believe me, we’re even WORSE than Vermonters when it comes to THAT sort of “buttinskiisms”! ūüėČ

Here they are at the Bangor Mall, disrupting yet again an extraordinarily busy and accident-ridden stretch of highway- this time with bagpipes. Freaking BAGPIPES.


But what’s interesting is that it looks like these young men are part of a very disturbing group indeed. It makes me wonder- how do these people support themselves financially as they roam the country and are they paying taxes?


First, I am pleased to say there will be audio feed of the public hearing via this link.

No doubt there ill also be numerous TV links- here is a list of those local channels I expect to be on hand who will no doubt have online videofeed:

WCSH-6– NBC, Portland

WMTW-8– ABC, Lewiston/Auburn

WGME-13– CBS, Portland

WABI-5– CBS, Bangor

Much more info below…Here’s the information and the rules for what is shaping up to be a pretty big event in my neck of the woods, as provided by

If any other persons or groups want to provide links, info etc, please feel free to do so!


The Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary

Public Hearing on LD 1020 “An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom” and LD 1118 “An Act To Expand Rights for Maine Families” at the Augusta Civic Center, Augusta on Wednesday, April 22nd

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124th Maine Legislature

1st Regular Session

convened 12/3/2008,

statutory adjournment is 6/17/2009.

Hearing Location:

Augusta Civic Center

76 Community Drive (off Rt. 27)

Augusta, Maine

Doors open at 8:00 AM.

(Hearing to start) Wednesday, April 22nd, 9:00 a.m.

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Public Hearing Procedure

To allow time for as many participants as possible to testify:

1. A person may testify only once, for a maximum of 3 minutes per person; rebuttal testimony is not permitted.

2. Avoid redundant testimony.

3. Groups are encouraged to select a spokesperson. When not testifying, please remain quiet or step outside so others can hear the testimony and help the process move efficiently.

4. Minors are present; all testimony and conversations must be kept appropriate and dignified.

5. If you have written testimony, please give 20 copies to the staff before speaking.

6. Signs, pictures, posters or banners, balloons or sticks are not allowed in the building or outside on Civic Center property.

7. Demonstrations, chanting or other disruptive behavior is prohibited.

8. Weapons of any type are prohibited on Civic Center grounds.

9. Smoking is allowed beyond the sidewalk curb, as designated by the Civic Center. Civic Center will be open serving food and drink.

10. Please use the link to right to print copies of bills and other information before the hearing. Paper copies of the bill will not be available at the hearing.

(Note from Louise: links below for this list)

11. Access to the public hearing is via the first floor only. Other events are occuring in the building. Ample seating is expected to be available throughout the day.

12. Persons with special needs who wish to attend the hearing and require accommodations should notify the Legislative Information Office as soon as possible: 207-287-1692, TTY 207-287-6826, FAX 207-287-1580,

The above mentioned link as provided from the legislative site:

Downloadable documents including the bills texts.

For follow-up, here are the links for the bills’ status/info as well.

LD 1020– Seantor Dennis Damon’s bill.

LD 1118– Representative Les Fossel’s bill.

This from Village Soup is a good overview:

The hearing will be held Wednesday, April 22, at the Augusta Civic Center. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the hearing begins at 9 a.m. The hearing was originally scheduled to be held April 24, at Cony High School in Augusta, but was rescheduled to ensure greater access to Maine residents.

The two bills are LD 1020 -“An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom,” sponsored by Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, and LD 1118 – “An Act to Expand Rights for Maine Families,” sponsored by Rep. Leslie Fossel, R-Alna.

If passed, Damon’s bill would make civil marriage in Maine a legally recognized union of two people. The bill affirms that religious institutions continue to have control over their own religious doctrine and teachings regarding who may marry within each faith.

Fossel’s bill, if passed, would provide that “registered domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether they derive from statute, administrative rule, court rule, government policy, common law, or any other provisions or source of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

No political signs or banners will be allowed in the auditorium.

Members of the public may listen online through the Legislature’s Web site,

The committee will hear testimony from opposing sides in half-hour increments. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony. The committee is scheduled to take two 45-minute meal breaks during the day, and the hearing will adjourn no later than 8 p.m.

“It is going to be a long day, but we are ready for it,” said Sen. Lawrence Bliss, D-South Portland, co-chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. “Our committee members are excited and ready to tackle these issues. We are looking forward to hearing from the public on these two bills.”

“We have put a process in place that will make sure everyone’s voice is heard,” said Rep. Charles Priest, D-Brunswick, co-chairman of the committee. “Public input is vital for the committee to carry out its work.”

Hope to see many people there! I’ll be in the parking lot no later than 6am…





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