Main | Monday, May 19, 2008

June10th: Maine's Anti-Gay Petition Drive

Boo-hooing that they are being intimidated, wingnuts in Maine are crying foul because LGBT activists plan to stand next to them at polling places during the primary and urge voters not to sign their anti-gay petition. Via WingNutDaily:
A lobby for homosexuals and transgenders in Maine has announced plans to shadow individuals who will be working to collect signatures on the "YES for Marriage and Equality" pro-family referendum, which is intended to put a marriage protection plan on the 2009 election ballot.

In a report in the New England Blade this week, Betsy Smith, executive director of the Equality Maine activist organization, outlined "a plan that asks volunteers to stand with the people the [Christian Civic] League recruits to collect signatures for the petition."

"I think it is disgusting that so-called 'gay' groups plan on harassing dear Christian grandmothers who simply want to gather signatures on Primary Election Day. Shame on Equality Maine," said Michael Heath, chief of the CCL.

"They need to call off this totalitarian campaign of intimidation and apologize. Yesterday wouldn't be soon enough," he said in a statement today.The Equality report said, "this way … signers will not misinterpret the petition's purpose and understand before they sign that the so-caled (sic) 'equality' the League wants is really equality for straight couples, not equality for all."

A report from CCL said, "Smith went on to state the Equality Maine petition blockers 'will offer a pledge for [homosexual and transgendered] equality, so that people who are opposed to [the pro-family referendum] can take action that day.'" The Blade report was harshly critical of the pro-family plan to define marriage and provide that it is a union of one man and one woman, as well as eliminate the requirement that taxpayers fund homosexual clubs in public schools.

Equality officials reported they had been working to change the language of the proposal, and the language approved by the secretary of state "explains to voters much more clearly what this referendum would do," according to Smith. The title now defines the plan as "An Act to Protect Marriage and Promote Equality." If about 55,000 signatures are collected, the issue will be on the 2009 ballot in the state.
Here's what Equality Maine warns the about the petition:
Voters have every right to sign that petition. But we want them to know what they're really signing: a measure that would:

* Erase all the non-discrimination protections we've fought so hard to win
* End funding for school civil rights teams, which have played a vital role in combating harassment of all kinds
* Prohibit unmarried couples from jointly adopting, a move that would threaten the best interest of children
The anti-gay petition drive takes place on June 10th, Maine's primary day, at polling places statewide. In you live in Maine, please go to Equality Maine's site and learn how you can volunteer to "intimidate" your local wingnuts.

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