Hi there. I’m Benjamin, and I live in Nova Scotia. We’re pretty close together. I can get to you in five hours if I drive the limit. I can take a pretty ferry across the Bay of Fundy to Bar Harbor and we can even sneak in some good Canadian beer. But you know what? We’re not here to talk about that.
That’s right. Maine, from what I understand, you guys and girls are getting ready to have a proposition on your 2009 electoral ballot to overturn the recent legislative decision to allow same sex marriage within the state. It’s been an up and down ride for proponents of equal rights in the US over the last year. There was that powerful victory in the California courts, so heavily crushed at the ballot box; there were court victories in Connecticut and Iowa, and legislature victories in New Hampshire and Vermont, and of course, Maine.
Maine is a state with a great history. When the Republican Party of the 1800s started to advertise a new brand of politics, a new brand of equality, Maine was the first to vote for this new style of human treatment. In the Civil War, one of the greatest Union heroes was a Maine man – Joshua L. Chamberlain, who saved the Union flank at the Battle of Gettysburg and was later governor of the state for eight terms.
This progressive history should be noted, because although Maine did not have much in the way of black residents, Maine fought like a lion for the abolitionist cause in the Civil War, because it believed it was the right thing to do. The right thing to do in November of 2009 is vote “no” on Proposition 1.
As a Canadian, I have lived in a country that has allowed gay marriage for some time now. The world has not ended. There is no great wave of evil that washed over the barriers of marriage and swept it away. Rather, there are a few inquisitive children wondering why one of their friends has two daddies or two mommies, and that’s the worst of it.
My Maine friends, I urge you to show the world that the morality of a few will not trample the rights of all. Do not repeat the mistake California made. Every first for equal rights in the Union has been an important one. Massachusetts was the first to allow gay marriage. Vermont was the first to legislate it. Maine, you can be the first people in the United States to accept it publicly.
Vote No on Proposition 1, and prove to the United States – to the world – that Maine is a place where all can have the freedoms promised by the Founders and the Framers – the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.