Unsurprisingly, Carroll Conley is pleased about the outcome of Tuesday's gay-marriage vote in North Carolina, and non-plussed by President Barack Obama's confirmation yesterday that he supports the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Conley, who serves as executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine (which has teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to create Protect Marriage Maine -- the group that will lead the campaign against same-sex marriage leading up to the referendum vote this November), happened to be in North Carolina this week for his son's college graduation.
Matt McTighe, campaign
manager for Mainers United
For Marriage, which advocates for same-sex marriage rights, says President
Barack Obama's evolution on this issue mirrors that of thousands of
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as
I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of
my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex
relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers
or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet
feel constrained, even now that 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' is gone, because they
are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just
concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm
that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told
ABC in a much-anticipated interview.
I'm still shaking my head in dismay and disbelief after
Monday's panel convened, allegedly, to discuss the future of Maine's newspapers. (Here's the video.) I've spent many years in
the alternative and community press, and am well used to seeing frequent
examples of the outright cluelessness and lack of vision at mainstream daily
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders are trumpeting a decision made today by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which states that courts "have the authority under current law to determine who a child’s parents are when
the child is conceived through procedures like in vitro fertilization and then
carried and delivered by another person."
Republican Governor Paul LePage will speak to the Maine Aggregate Association this evening - that's the
group representing Maine's
gravel and rock industries. But the public won't
be allowed to hear his comments.
Despite LePage's pushing of an East-West highway, and his
recent relaxation of mining regulations, an official announcement was issued
Monday from the governor's office specifying that the speech will be off-limits
to media coverage.
Required reading in this Sunday's Times magazine: Bill Keller's explores the political ramifications of voting for gay marriage if you're a conservative Republican (or at least, a Republican backed by New York state's Conservative Party).
Among the highlights:
I wrote last week about the League of Young Voters' Launch Maine contest. More than 170 ballots were cast at the party last Friday night; ArtVan, which brings art therapy and inspirational projects to youth in low-income neighborhoods around Southern and Midcoast Maine, was the winner of the $500 grand prize. Congrats!
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that six terrorism suspects in the United Kingdom could be extradited to the United States, rejecting the suspects' argument that they would be subject to "inhuman and degrading treatment" in an American supermax prison.
Portland Phoenix writer Lance Tapley (whose long-running award-winning prison series has led national supermax coverage) and prison-rights activist Ray Luc Levasseur spoke to the BBC about prison conditions in an interview from The Studio in Portland (with audio help from Jim Begley).
In this week's Phoenix, out tomorrow, Lance Tapley talks to state senator Justin Alfond about several troubling pieces of legislation still up for debate in Augusta (there are just two weeks left until the end of the legislative session).
One of those is LD 1853, An Act To Improve Environmental Oversight and Streamline Permitting for Mining in Maine, which would change the state's mining laws, making them more lenient.
Yep, Commissioner Gordon's Bar Harbor compatriots don't have nearly the patience for the antics of the Caped Crusader as we might expect. A guy who dresses up like Batman in Bar Harbor has been posting Batman-related items on his Facebook page for some time now. In what he claims was "an obvious April Fool's joke," the man, whom the Associated Press says lives two blocks from the Bar Harbor Hospital, posted a demand for $1 million "or I'll blow up the hospital" on April 1.
UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL COMPANY STATEMENT (below)
Billionaire financier and husband of Chellie Pingree Donald Sussman will own a 75-percent stake in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and its sibling papers, according to the terms of a deal announced today. Previously Sussman had been loaning the company $3.
There are only a few days left to vote for a finalist in the League of Young Voters's Launch Maine competition.
The contest, which aims to both spur and highlight community involvement among young Mainers, will award $500+ to the winning youth-led project. Although $500 isn't a ton of money (finalists do have the chance to earn more at the April 6th party/winner announcement), Launch Maine has garnered a ton of interest, with more than 30 teams submitting their projects, which address topics such as home weatherization, kids and the arts, organic smoothies, physical activity and health, and alternative transportation.
Well, that's a relief. Portland Public Schools **don't serve pink slime**! (I wrote about some of the good things they do serve in this piece last year.)
Here's this, from a district release (via the "Seth and the City" BDN blog):
Unlike most other school districts in the country, Portland does not purchase ground beef from the U.
When people were advocating to have an elected mayor in Portland, whose job would be full-time, one of the big arguments in favor was that we could have a full-time lobbyist on Portland's key issues, whether regionally, in Augusta, or in any relevant scope or arena.
Since his election, Mike Brennan has advocated for Portland's need with Governor Paul LePage and state lawmakers.