On November 3, voters in Maine will decide whether or not we want to keep the recently passed law that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry, or repeal it. While early polling on “Question 1,” found residents split about even, a new poll published in today’s Bangor Daily News shows a significant gain for those opposed to repealing the law. (Given the wording of the question, a “No” vote is to keep the gay marriage law; a “Yes” vote is to repeal it.)
This new poll is, indeed, encouraging news, as anti-gay-rights supporters have engaged in ruthless, offensively false advertisements throughout the state. Most Mainers are, by now, familiar with the “Everything to Do With Schools,” ads released by “Yes on 1” groups, which falsely implies, legalizing gay-marriage will lead to homosexuality being taught in public school. The question, which literally reads, “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” says nothing about schools. The word “school” for that matter, is nowhere in the bill.
However, last night I saw another “Yes” commercial—this one even more infuriating in its lack of logic. This latest ad claims “Question 1” has nothing to do with equal rights or civil liberties—that gay couples receive the same benefits under civil unions and do not need to get married. Yet, the bill has everything to do with civil liberties—the right for individuals to marry who they please.
The “Yes” crowd claims it is about “family,” “tradition,” and “values.” But who defines—whose right is it to define—what a “family” is? Are these people, most of whom are motivated by religious beliefs on this issue, completely incapable of seeing beyond the narrow, hegemonic confines of their Christian Bible? Are they so brainwashed by right-wing, Christian fundamentalism, they cannot form their own, independent opinions about anything?
I am pretty certain Jesus would not have discriminated against anyone, for any reason—-least of all one's sexual orientation. However, modern Christianity is so removed from the original teachings of Christ it bares almost no resemblance the traditional religion.
At some point, these homophobic, Christian zealots must realize they have no moral argument. They may as well be arguing for the re-segregation of schools, or for re-instating Jim Crow laws. Mainers are better than this. I remain confident we will defeat this un-Constitutional bill and make Maine a freer, more democratic state for everyone.
On November 3, cast a decisive "No" on "Question 1."