One of the state's most vocal opponents of gay rights has initiated a referendum aimed at banning same-sex marriages or civil unions and prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children.
The referendum also would eliminate sexual orientation as a protected class under the Maine Human Rights Act and would take away funding that supports civil rights teams affiliated with the state Attorney General's Office.
"We're mindful, politically speaking, of the fact that there are remaining questions with regard to gay rights," Heath said Wednesday by telephone, adding that "the only real question remaining is whether same-sex marriage will eventually be allowed under the law."
That's your only question? Well, here's the answer: yes. Yes, it will eventually be legal, despite your best efforts to force your bigotry on everyone else. I'm glad I could clear that up for you.
Although if gay marriage is your only concern, why are you attacking everything else?
Betsy Smith, executive director of Equality Maine, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy group based in Portland, also criticized Heath's referendum.
"The question that he has submitted to the secretary of state is so broad that it's ridiculous," Smith said Wednesday by telephone. "I don't even know if it's legal to put a question like that on the ballot. He basically wants to repeal any rights gays have gotten."
The question certainly seems patently ridiculous:
The question as it was submitted reads: "Do you want to protect traditional marriage and eliminate special rights laws in Maine?"
A description of the referendum indicates that it will clarify Maine's marriage law, limiting the institution to one man and one woman. It also would forbid the establishment of civil unions. The referendum further seeks to remove sexual orientation from the Maine Human Rights Act and to eliminate any state funding for civil rights advocacy through the Attorney General's Office.
"Special right laws" like the right to marry being preserved for heterosexuals only? Or the right to not be fired from your job because of an irrelevant aspect of yourself being confined to race, religion, sex, but not open to sexual orientation? Or hey, how about the right to skip any day of school where you might have to see a gay person? Damn those people and their efforts to get special rights!
"It is time for another referendum on gay rights. We have been licking our wounds long enough. I'm not going to sit by doing nothing really meaningful and watch either the courts or the legislature further advance special rights for homosexuality."
The posting goes on to say that the right to marry is implicit, but states, "Nobody should have legal rights that are premised on being sexually promiscuous."
Maybe so, but what the hell does that have to do with gay rights?