Thursday, December 29, 2005

Maine Goes Mainstream

Yesterday with a shrug, Mainers became the last New England state to have basic anti-discrimination protections for homosexuals. The long-overdue and hard-fought tweaks to existing laws extend protection in credit, education, employment, housing and public accommodations by forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation came into force.

There was no hoo-ha or joy in the streets. Equality Maine sent its 2,000 members an email reminding them of the date that the laws take effect. The email included how to file an action in case of discrimination. Yawn.

In October, Maine Human Rights Commission Executive Director Patricia Ryan predicted few cases using the new law. Writing in the Bangor News, she had a few choice words for the anti folk:
Opponents have frequently claimed that protection against discrimination is a "special right" for gays and lesbians. As the one responsible with enforcing Maine's anti-discrimination laws, I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth. These are not "special rights." They are basic human rights that are, and should be, guaranteed to everyone.
That seems so commonsensical and humdrum. Yet, to the anti-gay campaigners at the Christian Civic League of Maine, the Maine Grassroots Coalition and a group of fundamentalist preachers, this was a horror to be prevented at any cost.

Those groups found that they seem to have strained the tolerance that voters have for their vitriol and deceit. They had promised dreadful occurrences in Massachusetts when gays began marrying here. That nothing bad and much good happened did not faze them.

Now in Maine, the Fright and Spite Circuses predict that ordinary citizens will be prosecuted for the most innocent act or comment that someone might consider anti-gay. They have predicted that ministers will be forbidden from speaking freely from the pulpit. They have repeatedly predicted that Maine will be forced to accept gay marriage, and soon, and then those dreadful things that should have happened in Massachusetts will happen there.

Those doomsayers must figure out how they can attack now, and not coincidentally keep themselves in business. The state voted 55% against discrimination. So they have to estimate whether they can raise the interest and funds for their next windmill tilt.

That could be an amendment forbidding same-sex marriage. That would be a hard sell. Not only does Maine already have a one-man/one-woman definition on the books, but the governor and legislature think an amendment is a spiteful waste of time.

The Civic League's usually loud executive director, Mike Heath, had little to say this week. He told one newspaper that he was not sure whether his group would try the amendment. He said, "We'll be deciding sometime after the new year."

Meanwhile, the Chicken-Little group's press release speaks volumes. The deluge is at hand to them, as in:
In the coming months and years, as the apostles of unreason and disorder uphold pleasure as man’s highest good, society will continue to unravel at an alarming rate, and the havoc they have wreaked will rise up as a witness against them.

We fully expect the push for sodomistic “marriage” to begin at once. Indeed the call for “full equality,” a code word for sodomistic marriage, is already being heard among gay rights organizations in Maine. Such a development does not represent social progress; rather, it is a giant step backwards, for it heralds the imminent demise of the family, the institution on which all other institutions rest.
Perhaps Heath and his ilk can make the resolution to try to do something useful instead of destructive in 2006.

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