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A first for Maine?

According to a Washington Post report, Maine may achieve a historic first:

Gay rights activists in Maine, the only New England state that doesn’t allow gay marriage or civil unions, moved Thursday toward forcing a second statewide vote on the marriage question, and their opponents say they’ll be ready for a fight.

Polling data indicates that the tide may have shifted against the forces of discrimination.

One of those eager to vote again is the Rev. Michael Gray, a Methodist pastor in Old Orchard Beach.

Gray said he was a longtime conservative who changed his mind “after study, prayer and patience.”

If the referendum succeeds in overturning the anti-gay measures, they will be the first state to approve gay marriage by popular vote.

Go Maine!

The Roman Catholic Church, meanwhile, is staunchly opposed to letting the people have their say.

“After the bitterly divisive campaign of 2009, in which Maine people clearly and decisively voted against changing the meaning of marriage, we’re dismayed that they would bring this issue back for yet another vote,” Brian Souchet, a spokesman for the diocese, said in a statement.

When people are allowed to learn and grow, it’s not uncommon for them to change their minds, and some might find it telling that the Catholic Church doesn’t like that. But there’s still room for compromise: how about if, instead of changing the definition of marriage, we simply allow multiple definitions, and give each person the liberty to elect the definition most suited to their personality and/or religious background? That way you can have you’re religion, and we’ll respect your religion, and you can do the same for us. Can’t get more fair than that, eh?

Remember, we’re talking here about people who happen to fall in love differently than heterosexuals do, and that’s not an evil difference. It’s just different. All homosexuals want is the freedom to enjoy the same relationships and intimacies and sexual fulfilment that heteros enjoy, with the ones they fall in love with and who love them back. It does no harm to give homosexuals equal access to the same things heteros do. There is no moral basis for categorizing homosexuality as evil or perverted or wrong. (Indeed, if you’re looking for perversion, ask yourself why Christians are so obsessed with the sexual behavior of strangers, and with punishing those whose sexual performance is unsatisfactory.)

So like I said, Go Maine! Set us all a good example.

Comments

  1. davidct says

    “Remember, we’re talking here about people who happen to fall in love differently than heterosexuals do, and that’s not an evil difference. It’s just different. All homosexuals want is the freedom to enjoy the same relationships and intimacies and sexual fulfilment that heteros enjoy, with the ones they fall in love with and who love them back. It does no harm to give homosexuals equal access to the same things heteros do.”

    If that is all that was involved than there would be little problem for gays to get married. All they would have to do would be to have a ceremony. They could then call themselves married. Unfortunately that is not the problem. What would still be lacking would be governmental recognition of a special kind of legal contract between two people called marriage. Without this recognition the public declaration in a marriage ceremony is meaningless. Because of the way “marriage” has been incorporated into the legal system it is very difficult to achieve the same result with a civil contract. It is primarily because of this problem that, I became a proponent of extending the marriage contract to gays.

    When I lived in Maine, Gov. Baldacci had made gay marriage legal by executive order. The religious right came out from under their wet rocks and voted it down with a referendum in 2009. Now that vote will be revisited. No matter how the vote goes, gays will still not be afforded the same rights of marriage. For that to happen the federal DOMA law will have to be repealed.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      If that is all that was involved than there would be little problem for gays to get married. All they would have to do would be to have a ceremony.

      Oh, absolutely, there’s a huge difference in what gay’s have access to versus what heteros have. My point was that the people themselves are no different than anyone else, other than that they happen to fall in love differently than heteros do. And that’s a perfectly innocuous and inconsequential difference, so there’s really no excuse for treating them any different than anyone else.

    • Midnight Rambler says

      When I lived in Maine, Gov. Baldacci had made gay marriage legal by executive order.

      No, it was enacted into law by the legislature. The governor can’t just do something like that by fiat. The law was overturned in the referendum.

      Given that it lost by only about 52-48 in 2009, and opinions have shifted just in that time, I wouldn’t be surprised if it passes this time. Especially since it’s a presidential election year and not an off-year election. It’s also noteworthy that in Cumberland County, where Portland is, support for same-sex marriage in the 2009 referendum was about 75%.

      • davidct says

        Sorry about that. I was incorrect. For a short time the governor and the legislature were working together on most issues to the point where most of his proposer legislation was voted into law.

  2. says

    Go Maine!

    I was disappointed when we overturned it the first time, but I knew it wouldn’t be the final word.

    Gay marriage is inevitable. If you had told someone 50 years ago that any State allowed gay marriage, they would have shuffled you off to a funny farm.

  3. jamessweet says

    I’m mixed on this… it’s risky. If the bad guys win again, it will give a lot of fodder to the “let the people decide! (whether or not minorities are people…)” crowd.

    On the one hand, civil rights should not be up for a vote. On the other hand, a victory here would mean we could finally say that marriage equality can win at the ballot box, and that would take away one of the bad guys’ stronger talking points. If you’ll allow me a third hand, a loss will further solidify said talking point, to an unprecedented extent.

    It’s risky. Real risky…

    • Robert B. says

      Huh, thanks for the insight. You’re right, of course. Except…

      How are we to come to a consensus, as a society, on what is or is not a fundamental right not subject to majority rule? The Bill of Rights was voted on in the first place, more or less.

  4. timberwoof says

    I smirk at the Catholics who are fine and dandy with a vote once it goes their way, but then cite divisiveness (which they caused!) as an argument against voting again. If they lose this time, we’ll count on their support for yet another vote to repeal it.

    This business about voting on people’s civil rights isn’t about to end any time soon. I lived in Colorado in the early ’90s, when Colorado for Family Values pushed their anti-gay Amendment 2. When that was overturned by the courts, there was an awful lot of hand-wringing about courts defying the will of the people. That was twenty years ago, and I still hear all the same whinging.

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