In Maine, opponents of marriage equality “have resorted to inventing scenarios to scare voters”

Another major editorial in Maine urges its readers to vote No on 1 in Maine. This one is from the state’s largest newspaper, Maine Sunday Telegram. The editorial completely debunks the Stand for Marriage line of attack:

Treating same-sex couples fairly would have an important impact on their families, such as when one partner gets sick or dies. But it would not affect traditional couples at all.

The “Stand for Marriage: Yes on 1” campaign has struggled to come up with ways in which allowing this law to take effect would hurt traditional families. To often they have resorted to inventing scenarios to scare voters.

The most prominent has been the charge that children would be forced to learn about same-sex marriage in school. All it takes is a quick reading of the law to see, however, that there is no mention of education in it. Curriculum in Maine is approved by local school boards, and those elected officials would be under no obligation to add lessons on marriage law to their areas of study.

But that’s not to say that children would be kept in the dark. They are smart, and they should be expected to notice that some of their classmates have two moms or two dads instead of one of each. This is not a function of the law, however, it is a reflection of reality. A “yes” vote won’t make those couples go away. It would only make their lives more difficult.

At some point, all children recognize that everyone’s home is not like their own, that different people have different values and that all families are not the same. Parents should not be afraid that what children see in school will eclipse the values that are taught at home.

Arguments that same-sex marriage would inhibit religious freedom or cause a flood of lawsuits also fall flat. The same claims were made in campaigns against Maine’s anti-discrimination laws and neither of them came true.

This is important for several reasons, not just Maine.

First, the Bishop should be ashamed that his campaign has “resorted to inventing scenarios to scare voters.” That’s appalling. How can a man of the cloth allow this? Is his hatred of gays so intense that he’s forsaken decency?

Then, there are the lies. As noted, in 2005, the opponents also created scenarios about what adding sexual orientation to the Maine Human Rights Act would mean. They predicted massive lawsuits. They were wrong. We’re facing the same kind of hysterical lying from the opponents of the Hate Crimes bill. Soon, that bill will become law. Then, we won’t see pastors hauled into court for spewing homophobia from the pulpit. That’s not what the law does, but that’s been the argument. Our opponents lie. In Maine, we know that. We need to start calling out the lies more forcefully — and reminding everyone about those lies when they’re proven false.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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