Same-sex marriage supporters are expressing a combination of disgust, defensiveness, and resignation when faced with the fact that their opponents are recycling untrue, fear-mongering tropes from the 2009 election cycle. Tropes -- well, let's call them what they are: lies, really -- that have been rejected not only be experts and gay-marriage supporters, but even by Marc Mutty, who led the campaign against gay marriage last time around.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced today that it will hold a series of events, entitled "Defending Marriage in the Public Square," around Maine this fall. Nine such meetings are scheduled statewide, in places like Caribou, Scarborough, Waterville, and York.
In addition to local parish staff and representatives from the Diocesan Office for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, four out-of-state guest speakers will address the meetings.
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.
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:
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.
The cowardly Westboro Baptist Church hatemonger nutballs who were threatening to picket Seacoast Rep's performance of The Laramie Project last week never showed up, turning what might have been an ugly protest/counter-protest into the opposite of what the "God (and we intolerant bigots) hates fags" group was hoping for.
On the godhatesfags.com website, a Westboro Baptist Church action protesting the performance of The Laramie Project at Seacoast Rep in Portsmouth is slated for next week. It's unclear whether this protest will actually happen; WBC has threatened protests around here before, but has never delivered. Nevertheless, worth being aware of.
No doubt Deirdre will have many thoughtful things to say on this subject in the next couple days, but since she's off for the afternoon, I'll attempt to weakly fill her shoes by telling you that a George HW Bush-appointed federal judge has just struck down Prop 8, California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage.
Richard Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Portland (which covers all of Maine), wrote an opinion piece in this weekend's Maine Sunday Telegram, addressing climate change, and arguing that the interests of "a global community for which we all must care" require us to deal with the climate crisis.
His arguments are cogent and strong.
GLAD is tweeting
that Judge Joseph Tauro ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act --
which defines marriage as between one man and one woman -- does violate the equal protection clause in the Constitution. He also issued a decision in a similar case brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. I wrote about these cases last month.
Courtesy of local activist Jill Barkley, we discover that Bob Emrich (one of the leaders of the Yes On 1 campaign) has sent around to supporters a note appearing to endorse the proposal in Uganda that would create a law that criminalizes homosexuality, and allows homosexuals to be put to death under certain circumstances.
Out in California, gay-rights activists have proposed the Marriage Protection Act, which would outlaw divorce. It certainly makes a rhetorical point - similar to Jon Stewart (I think) who said that some conservatives are so enamored of marriage that they have completed three or more, start to finish!
Any takers for a similar campaign in Maine?
In last week's Phoenix, I wrote about New Left Media, and the No On 1 documentary they produced during election season. That doc was pretty straightforward (and moving), but Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll are at their best (and funniest, and most terrifying) when they highlight the views of ill-informed right-wingers
John Aravosis at gay.americablog.com has an interesting account of the interplay between the DNC, the Obama administration, the New Jersey governor's race, and the No On 1 campaign here in Maine.
One very interesting point he makes is that the 2008 presidential race had far more people cast ballots than the 2009 No On 1 race.