Scott Fish, the AsMaineGoes-er who is now spokesman for bigotry in Maine, has sent a whining message suggesting that his organization's issues are not being fairly investigated by the Maine media.
Specifically, he wants to know why we have reported that his campaign's claim that "gay marriage will be taught in Maine schools" is a lie. The answer is simple: That is a ludicrous and stupid fearmongering claim with no basis in reality or fact.
Fish and his fellow haters are attempting to use education as a fear-motivated wedge issue in what is a civil rights issue.
Let's be clear. This is a human rights issue, a civil rights issue. Period.
The No On 1 campaign's failure to stake out this ground is to be condemned, and frankly may cost them this election. Maine Won't Discriminate. Maine Won't Prevaricate. Maine Won't Hate. End of story.
But with Fish's latest missive, the entirety of which is below, his campaign has fired its last salvo of facts - such as they may be. Of course, he and his ilk will continue to spout this information and more, until November 3.
But let us not be distracted - and, specifically, let the No On 1 campaign not be distracted - by ludicrous fabrications invented solely for the purpose of provoking a defensive response.
Let's get the campaign back on the right foot - on offense. I, for one, demand to know how Scott Fish's interpersonal relationships will be at all affected by same-sex marriage. I also insist on knowing what right he has to prevent the happiness of others, and why he thinks he has that right.
Will Maine discriminate? Only if cowards and defensive-minded people hedge and engage with this kind of idiocy. And then, it will be their own damn fault.
Also, note his attempt to place the burden of proof on the No On 1 campaign: "it is their bill, their idea." Sort of. It's Senator Dennis Damon's bill, duly approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Rather, Scott, it is YOUR people's veto, YOUR objection, YOUR idea. You should be subject to a great deal of scrutiny - specifically, why you want to remove a human right only belatedly acknowledged.
Here's Fish's whiny rant:
TO: Maine political reporters and editors
FROM: Scott Fish, Stand For Marriage Maine communications director
RE: Ignored consequences of LD 1020
Yesterday, our Yes on Question 1 campaign launched our second
statewide television commercial to inform Mainers of what happened in
Massachusetts public schools as a direct result of legalizing
Many of you joined us for a teleconference during which you heard
firsthand from Mr. and Mrs. Wirthlin, who appear in the ad and whose
second grade son was taught about gay marriage in a public school.
This instruction happened without any notice to them and without any
option to remove their some from such instruction. When they filed in
federal court to object to such instruction, the lower court ruled,
and the First District Court of Appeals - which has jurisdiction in
Maine thus making this bind precedent - that they had no right to
prior notice of such instruction nor the right to opt their son out of
the instruction. (Add Parker v Hurley case citation).
I'll get to more of that in a moment, but first I want focus on our
introductory ad, which raises the issue of consequences beside
education that will likely result if LD 1020 takes effect.
In that ad, Professor Scott FitzGibbon points to a letter that was
written to Gov. Baldacci and signed by prominent American legal
scholars from University of Notre Dame Law School, Washington and Lee
University School of Law, University of Missouri, and The University
of St. Thomas School of Law. This letter, sent prior to any campaign,
noted the likelihood of lawsuits that could be brought against
individuals, small businesses and religious organizations should they
conscientiously object to homosexual marriage and therefore deny their
services to gay "married" couples.
Our opponents criticized Professor FitzGibbons for being "from away"
and for making "ridiculous claims." They called us fear-mongering
liars in response to that ad. Yet they are hypocritically silent
about the fact that a prominent, pro same-sex marriage legal scholar
from the University of Michigan Law School, Professor Douglas Laycock,
wrote his own letter endorsing the views expressed in the legal letter
we reference. Laycock wrote "[T]heir analysis of potential legal
conflicts is accurateŠ"
It's one thing for our opponents to ignore these facts, because they
have no answer to them. However, these consequences and the Laycock
letter were roundly ignored by every reporter who wrote about our ad;
instead focusing on our purported "lie" that homosexual marriage will
be taught in public schools. We do not in any way wish to minimize
the education message; quite the opposite as it is the sole focus of
our current ad. But we are at a loss as to why every single
mainstream media reporter has completely ignored the very real legal
consequences of LD 1020 that are fully acknowledged even by supporters
of homosexual marriage as being legitimate.
Question 1 is a very important, controversial matter before Maine
voters and it deserves to be covered thoroughly from every angle.
You have asked for and we have provided substantiation of our claims,
both on the legal and education fronts. Yet, based on the media
coverage of the campaign to date, our opponents have been given a hall
pass relative to LD 1020. Remember, it is their bill, their idea,
their proposed law. Shouldn't they be subject to scrutiny of their
motives, comments and assertions and required to defend their bill so
as to best inform Mainers as they decide this critical issue?
To be more specific, Mainers should have the answers to the following
* Why did proponents of LD 1020 - in their legislation - redefine
commonly understood terms such as "husband," "wife," "bride," and
"groom," giving them new, genderless meanings? Under LD 1020, a
husband or a wife can be a man or a woman. Why?
* Why does LD 1020 repeal specific language that has existed in
Maine's marriage laws since the state's inception that provides for
the very basis for marriage as protection of children?
* After the issue of discussion of homosexual marriage in public
schools was raised in the single public hearing on LD 1020 as the
greatest concern of opponents, why did proponents of gay marriage make
a conscious decision not to include in LD 1020 the prohibition of
homosexual marriage instruction in public schools?
In other words, why aren't Jesse Connelly and the No on 1 campaign
being asked to defend their proposed law and taken to task for their
hypocrisy? The media have been lax in allowing our opponents to say
only that LD 1020 has nothing to do with education without pressing
them to take the argument to its logical conclusion.
Mainers deserve to hear more from our opponents than name-calling and
avoidance of the real issues. But since they refuse to respond to the
facts behind our messages, Mainers must rely on the media to press for
such answers and the media should do just that.
As it relates to our message about homosexual marriage being taught in
public schools, here are the irrefutable facts:
* In public schools in Maine and across the country, marriage is
often a subject of discussion, usually coming under the umbrella of
"family life" or "health" courses. Assuming it will continue to be
taught (remember, LD 1020 does not specifically prohibit such
instruction), any instruction on marriage cannot avoid a discussion of
homosexual marriage if LD 1020 takes effect, because the law will
newly define marriage as genderless. In fact, if they are in
accordance with the law, teachers won't discuss two ideas of marriage,
i.e., traditional and homosexual, because there will only be one
definition of marriage-genderless.
* In the state-sanctioned Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,
Questioning Youth Commission (http://www.maine.gov/cabinet/reports/docs/LGBTQ_CommissionFinalReport.pdf
) report recommends to the Governor, among other things,
o Including LGBT family-friendly books for young children in
head start centers and other day care facilities, (zero to five year-
o Identifying an "LGBTQ Youth Advocate" in every school
o Providing support for LGBT educators, school staff,
volunteers and parents to be "out" in order to serve as role models
for the youth they serve,
o Creation of a Rainbow (the visual anthem of homosexuality)
Star System, through which schools can attain Rainbow Stars by moving
steadily from legal compliance to exemplary practice,
o Hiring a Gay Straight Alliance advocate in every school,
presumably at taxpayer expense, and
* Many of the very same groups - whether their Maine,
Massachusetts, or national affiliates - that have pushed for the
legalization of homosexual marriage in Massachusetts and Maine, now
argue that it has nothing to do with schools. They claim on the one
hand that such instruction will not be taught in schools, yet often
add that if it were, parents could opt out. Yet in the Parker v.
Hurley case, they argued and won against parents who wanted to have
notice of and opt their children out of such instruction.
* So when our opponents say that LD 1020 has nothing to do with
schools and education, they need to be asked this question. Can they
promise that such instruction will not take place? Can they guarantee
that the infrastructure for pushing their agenda, which the state
report referenced above seeks to create in every school, won't they be
used to promote instruction that traditional and homosexual marriage
are legally the same thing? They will dodge and divert, but will
they make such a pledge?
And even if they make such a pledge, can we believe them? Are Mainers
really to believe that these advocates only desire is to have a
presence in schools but will never advocate for the teaching of
homosexual marriage? Why don't the media ask if they will never teach,
instruct, or discuss homosexual marriage if LD 1020 takes effect?
Finally, the people who have appeared in our ads have been attacked,
either being characterized as outsiders or advocates for a cause. Yet
the media have not revealed that teacher featured in Maine Marriage
Equality's ad, Sherri Gould, is much more than a former teacher of the
year. She is in fact one of the advocates for gay rights that has
been placed in a Maine public school, serving as co-advisor of Nokomis
High School's Gay Straight Alliance and works in conjunction with the
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), whose mission is to
gain support for homosexuals in schools.
Please take time to fully acquaint yourself with the letter from legal
scholars to the governor, Professor Laycock's letter and the LGBTQ
Commission report, and then use these documents as a basis to pull
back the curtain on the issues in which our opponents refuse to engage.
I look forward to more robust, thorough and equal reporting as the