5,405 Maine households are being harmed

All thanks to the bigots of Maine:

The number of homes with same-sex couples has grown nearly 60 percent over the past decade in Maine, according to census data released as same-sex marriage advocates gather petitions that could lead to the state’s second statewide referendum on gay marriage.

Data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of same-sex households grew 59 percent from 3,394 in 2000 to 5,405 in 2010 in Maine.

This is both good and bad news. It’s bad for the obvious reason that it means there are so many households being discriminated against – not to mention all the people who would be more likely to live together could they get married in Maine. But it’s good news because it means more and more gay couples are feeling comfortable enough to declare their status. This is all despite the efforts of Christians to shame people for who they are.

The Rev. Bob Emrich, chairman of the Christian Civic League of Maine, which opposes gay marriage, said the percentage growth in same-sex households may sound impressive, but he said the overall numbers are small. He doesn’t think the new census numbers are relevant to the debate.

Oh. I forgot that it’s okay to discriminate so long as it’s only against a small number of people. Good argument, Emrich.

Gays – more dangerous than King George III

Colonial America was known in part for the horrid treatment of the colonists by the British Empire. Quartering, taxation without representation, all those good buzz words and phrases, you know. But was it really that bad? I mean, really? Maybe. But it certainly wasn’t as bad as what will be the death blow to society – gay marriage.

Our society is currently faced with a threat a thousand times more dangerous than the tyranny imposed by King George III.

I say “a thousand times more dangerous,” but there is really no adequate measure for comparing a mild tyranny to the destruction of society itself. Same-sex marriage will do precisely that. By changing the definition of marriage, judicial activists and out-of-control legislators will destroy the institution of the family, an institution that is both the origin and bedrock of civil society. Same-sex marriage will be a death blow to a society that is already profoundly disordered.

Really? I thought the end of the last ice age was the bedrock of society that allowed humans to go from being nomadic to agrarian, spurring the development of written language, the idea of the village or town, and helping to form deep cultures, mores, memes, organized religion (unfortunately), and basically everything that crosses one’s mind when considering the very idea of society. Maybe I’m just crazy.

Of course, this quote comes from Michael Heath, ousted leader of the Maine Family Policy Council, formerly known as the Maine Christian Civic League. He isn’t a terribly smart man, awash in religious ideology and consequent sexual immaturity.

His editorial of paranoia, hate, bigotry, and (again) sexual immaturity comes on the same day Bob Emrich, the National Organization for Marriage, and other bigots held a rally in Augusta, spewing their inability to form coherent opinions that have any rational basis. He runs through the same tried old, long-dismissed as legitimate arguments common to Christian bigots. About the only novel idea he has is to an analogy to colonial America and its end days.

The idea that elected representatives or members of the judiciary can impose same-sex marriage against the will of the people is itself tyrannical. By referencing the American Revolution and the Sons of Liberty, I am not suggesting that the answer is a recourse to arms.

The answer is to vote out every member of the Maine Legislature who voted for same-sex marriage, and to vote against Libby Mitchell in her run for governor because I believe she plays a key role in the push for same-sex marriage.

The only major candidate who hates gay people and thinks consensual sex is just so ICKY! is Paul LePage. He’s a terrible choice if only for the fact that he’s a creationist. But then there’s this other ugly fact of which Heath has decided to remind us. LePage is a major bigot as well. (Of course, there’s also the fact that under his time as mayor, Waterville homeowners have actually ended up paying more in taxes, contrary to his claims.)

Those who dispute that the homosexual rights movement causes social instability ought to recall that Gay Pride Month, held every June, commemorates the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in 1969. These riots marked the start of the homosexual rights movement. At its very inception, the movement acted to destabilize society.

Sort of like how all those race riots of 1964 (or any year) showed just how much social instability blacks cause, right?

Heath clearly believes the homosexual can be summed up with a broad brush; individuality, rights, principles, liberties, happiness, and all that other downright silliness be damned, right?

Certain members of the pro-family movement today will bring to Maine’s State House a tour that will proclaim the virtues of marriage in soft, compassionate tones. They are free to do so, but let them also speak truthfully about the appalling evils of same-sex marriage and the homosexual rights movement.

Perhaps they believe a softer, gentler tone will earn the approval of their fellow churchmen and society at large. Maybe so, but their offer of compassion will be a false one, since true compassion follows repentance and should never be construed as justifying an evil act.

I’m torn. Heath was dismissed from his former position because of his strong tone. It’s probably the only thing I can appreciate from this sexually immature man. I actually have to side with him in his chiding of other bigoted leaders who are being kind for purely political reasons. At least Heath is honest in his hatred of things he thinks are icky.

But his tone says nothing of his actual substance. His words mean just the same as what a more politically viable figure might say. He’s an ignorant buffoon who has done nothing in his life to earn respect. He hates gay people because of a book that was written by the few literate pig farmers in town thousands of years ago. The only worthwhile contribution he has to make to society is as an example of what havoc religion can bring upon a society. Because of bigots like Heath, gay couples are unable to get insurance, visit each other in the hospital with any reasonable ease, or even make funeral arrangements when the time comes. I don’t think he has any idea of the utter pain he is inflicting upon so many good people.

Michael Heath is the most immoral man not in a prison in Maine.

Bob Emrich and Uganda

Uganda has been well established as a good place for bigots to visit. In October of 2009 it introduced an Anti-Homosexuality Bill which would have made being gay punishable by life in prison or even death. This was on top of the already strong anti-gay laws in Uganda, one of which already made homosexuality punishable by 14 years in prison.

Several Evangelical Christians visited Uganda at this time, some of them specifically being involved in encouraging the bill. Bob Emrich, a pastor and one of the sexually immature leaders of the anti-equality movement in Maine last year, was in Uganda for two weeks just after the bill was introduced. He sent an email to his faith-heads in which he expressed support for a Ugandan article which said this:

This whole concept of human rights grates my nerves. It has made people un-african, mean and self-centered.

One can now shamelessly stand up and tell you: “I do as I please. You have no business in my affairs.” A sodomist can now swear to you that what they do in the privacy of their bedroom does not concern the public.

No wonder when a brilliant MP comes up with a Bill against homosexuality, the human rights activists baptize him an enemy of the people.

It is high time politicians, religious leaders, cultural leaders and all concerned Africans woke up and defended the African heritage against the moral confusion of Western civilization. This civilization is eroding African moral pride.

The so-called human rights activists have hijacked the driver’s seat and are sending nations into the sea of permissiveness in which the Western world has already drowned.

Emrich later said he was against life imprisonment and the death penalty for gays, but he had also already noted what “a refreshing change of pace” it was to be in Uganda. Uganda – a country known for its imprisonment of gays, something which was being discussed in an article Emrich was quoting and lauding.

Fast forward and now someone has called Emrich out on his bigotry.

It’s time to remind people about Emrich. In the fall of 2009, Emrich spent several weeks in Uganda working alongside anti-gay activists.

Presumably at that time, Emrich thought it was a good idea to remind people in Uganda about the evils of gay people.

Since gay marriage in Uganda was nowhere in sight, the activists’ motivation was to marginalize gays in general.

In October 2009, amidst the anti-gay activity in Uganda, a bill was introduced in the Ugandan Legislature that criminalized gay activity in Uganda, including the death penalty for a number of gay “crimes.”

It might seem hard to believe that Emrich would approve of the death penalty for gays, but shortly after his return to Maine, he sent an e-mail to his supporters about his trip.

Emrich’s e-mail included text from an article published in Uganda that condemns gays and their supporters and lauds the “brilliant” person who introduced the anti-gay bill.

Concerning the article, Emrich says “I think it speaks for itself.”

He was conspicuously silent about the death component of the Ugandan bill.

There’s some wiggly truth in this. First, Emrich claims to have been there to help build schools, train pastors, feed children, and conduct medical clinics, not working alongside anti-gay activists. But who isn’t an anti-gay activist in Uganda? I believe Emrich when he says he was not expressly working alongside any particular, organized political groups, but “expressly” is key. The building of schools and training of pastors fits is the method Emrich was choosing to indoctrinate children into a sea of ignorance, hate, and sexual immaturity. As he said, one of his favorite sentiments in Uganda was that “in order to have a healthy village, there must be a strong and healthy church”. This reflects the ideas of hate in the article Emrich loved so much which urged for a rejection of human rights in favor of maintaining small, heritage-based (read: anti-gay) villages in Africa. Emrich’s actions and subsequent email reflect what his whole mission was all about: he was trying to strengthen religion in a country which enthusiastically condemns gays, going so far as to praise an article which called that death penalty bill for gays “brilliant”.

But let’s hear from Emrich himself.

As for Uganda, the people still need help. Thousands live in remote villages, without access to clean water, sufficient food and medical care. Without transportation, electricity or newspapers, they have no time for political activism. They appreciate the help some Mainers have provided, and they are finding great hope and strength in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I skipped the opening and body of his response since I’ve already summarized some of his contention, but this conclusion is indicative of the sort of sexually immature, bigoted person Bob Emrich is. He’s pretending like his concern is purely for the people of Uganda, but he belies his claim when he goes on to imply the need for political activism in Uganda. He knows exactly what an increase in a focus on social issues means for gays in Uganda. He may disown parts of the article he lauded before he got caught, but he has never said he disagrees with the criminalization of homosexuality. In fact, in another email (some people are just too old to handle this stuff, I think), he clarified his position by saying this:

Personally, I agree that these (acts of sexual consent between two people of the same sex) are serious and grievous offenses but I do not believe they should be punishable by death or life imprisonment. The homosexual activists and bloggers are claiming that Ugandan officials, with the endorsement of American Christian leaders, are calling for the execution of all homosexuals. They are not to be believed. But deception and confusion serves their purpose.

Actually, it’s true that Ugandan officials and some Christian leaders in America have called for the death penalty, but that’s besides the point. What I’m wondering is why Emrich is so unwilling to homosexuality should not be a crime. But then, just like with the article he loves so much, maybe human rights really grate his nerves.

Does this make them proud?

There was an election day recap article in the local paper for 11/5. One part of it was very striking.

“It just makes me very, very sad,” said Diane Sammer, 49, of Harpswell.

Her partner of 28 years died last year. For many years they wanted to be married in Maine, and their hopes had risen since same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004.

When Sammer’s partner died, Sammer was not allowed to claim the body, and she was excluded from the arrangement process at the funeral home.

“They didn’t want to deal with me. They just wanted her parents to come and sign documents,” Sammer said. “Because we weren’t married, they didn’t acknowledge me as a legal participant in her life.”

Twenty-eight years. Does anyone for a moment believe that Diane’s partner didn’t want her wife-in-everything-but-legalities to take care of her final arrangements? Who in his right mind believes it is okay to do this to people. What in the fuck did Diane Sammer and her partner ever do to anyone?

I wonder. When these on-par-with-racists bigots read things like this, are they proud? Do they dance and cheer? Do they really think they’ve done any family a service? Do they believe that gay couples all of a sudden have just gone away?

And just to cap off the inanity in this article, lead bigot Bob Emrich tells this lie.

“No on 1 (supporters) were much more organized,” he said. “They had that down to a science. They had a remarkable strategy of early identification of voters.”

Yes on 1 bigots had the ENTIRE FUCKING CATHOLIC CHURCH on its side. You don’t get more organized than that. Or ignorant.

The pride of bigotry

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These are some of the wholly ignorant individuals who are seeking to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage bill before it officially becomes law. They’re actually proud of themselves. It’s gross.

Bob Emrich is a hateful, stupid man. He has absolutely no idea that he’s actually advocating for discrimination against himself. He thinks homosexuality is icky or perverse or just like having sex with a dog or he’s uncomfortable in his own sexuality or he’s just another mook propping up the bible for his own ends (which is easy because that is one of the most morally malleable books ever written) or maybe it’s all of those things. Ultimately, he has no universal justification for denying people the right to marry on the (purely legal) basis of sex/gender. I doubt he’s smart enough to come up with many principled arguments for his beliefs in the first place, but even if he was capable of that, such an argument does not exist for his absurd position.

It’s an utter disgust that people like this are given legitimacy. Why don’t more people just lash into crap like this? Bob Emrich has a lot of bad ideas predicated on a lot of bad bigotry. I hate to be redundant with “bad bigotry” but aside from the grammatical flow, it supports the notion that Emrich doesn’t even understand the true basis for his hatred. He has no idea that through his outright bigoted, hateful views of homosexuals (what did they ever do to anyone?), he is taking legal aim at absolutely everyone. And that’s what this all is: a legal issue. Emrich has no logical basis to be demanding that the state of Maine discriminates against everyone on the basis of what chromosomes they have (again, go here).

Bob Emrich

Bob Emrich is a major bigot and a danger to the well-being of Maine and the good reputation of Maine. Of course, he is one of the hateful Christians seeking to invade the secular nature of Maine law to deny people the right to marry on the basis of gender. He also says dumb things like this.

State voters have repeatedly defined marriage as between a man and a woman when given the opportunity, with the latest vote in California, said Emrich, founder of Maine Jeremiah Project, which aims to get people of faith involved in setting public policy.

“Without exception, they’ve always voted to protect the traditional definition of marriage,” Emrich said.

And for a long time, so did the South. After all, the “traditional definition of marriage” for a very long time was that interracial unions were unholy and thus not allowed. Emrich is presenting a plainly dumb argument. “Well, we’ve been doing it for so long!”

I’m tired of parsing words or dilly-dallying around the issue. These people are fucking stupid. They have the intelligence of a glop of mud. These huge bigots (not that small bigots are okay) find homosexuality icky and/or they’re uncomfortable with their own sexuality. Often, their sexuality is repressed (see priests). They have immature views on what sex is, what its purpose is, what it means, and they are unable to make universal appeals which support any of the dogmatic inanity they embrace. Why do we listen to these fools?

What gay marriage is about

There’s this insipidly stupid argument floating around conservative (i.e., non-thinking) circles. It’s that gay marriage is all about children and societal security. This argument is designed to knock down the position that gay marriage is a civil rights issue.

Societies have a vested interest in the welfare of their children because they are the future of that society. A society is more likely to flourish if these children grow up to become responsible, productive and contributing members of that society. In the last half century, social science research has overwhelmingly validated what societies throughout history have learned through practical experience: Children do best by far on every measure of development, achievement and welfare when they are raised by their married biological parents.

In truth, this is an emotional appeal. In other words, it’s useless bull that doesn’t actually mean anything. Let’s start at the top.

The most glaring issue with this is the abuse of science. Aside from almost surely not citing any specific studies, the author is intentionally destroying context. That is, the studies he cites are comparing married parents to unmarried couples, single parents, and possibly parents who adopted. None of these categories is gay parents.

He’s begging the question here. He has set out to show that gay couples will make unstable homes for children yet he assumes that very idea in his argument. That is, he is assuming gay couples are equal to any couple which is not married and the biological parents of the children involved. But if he’s trying to prove that point, he most certainly cannot assume it in his argument. It’s a logical fallacy. “Gay parents are unfit. How do I know they are unfit? Because they are gay parents.”

But here’s the gem of the pro-bigot brigade. They argue that anti-discrimination activists are wrong to compare gay rights to civil rights.

Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell also rejects the argument that sexual orientation is comparable to race. He has testified that: “Skin color is a benign, nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.”

The most interesting thing about all this is that both sides are wrong. Anti-discrimination activists are wrong because the civil rights being violated are not based upon sexual orientation. Pro-bigots are wrong because it is a civil rights issue. It just isn’t about sexual orientation.

Marriage is a secular contract between two people of sound capacity to consent to entering a legal agreement. In other words there are pertinent requirements to entering any contract recognized by the government. In this case they include being of age as determined by state, being willfull, and being able to understand the conditions of the contract. To say that two women cannot marry is discriminate based upon some external requirement to the ones listed. That “external requirement” is not sexual orientation. It is gender. Two women or two men are disallowed from entering a contract based upon gender. That is a civil rights issue. It is against the law – moreover, it is against all common sense. Pro-bigots don’t realize their rights are being trampled, too (mostly because they’re doing the ignorant trampling).

It is primarily to encourage the most positive outcomes for their children that societies encourage men and women to marry and provide special protections and incentives for this social institution. Because same-sex couples obviously cannot produce children, societies historically have never even contemplated allowing them to “marry.”

Liar. Or he’s stupid. Societies have never contemplated allowing gay marriage because societies have historically been filled with bigotry. It has nothing to do with children. But at any rate, this argument is only valid if it is extended properly. Infertile couples must be forbidden from marriage. Elderly couples beyond the ability to reproduce who do not already have children and grandchildren must get divorced; they do not fit the reason for marriage and are thus being rewarded with special protections and incentives without justification.

Legalizing same-sex marriage would so radically change the existing social institution of marriage that it would destroy its time-proven ability to provide essential benefits to society. It would transform marriage from a primarily child-centered institution into something that would be little more than governmental recognition of the professed affection of any two people for each other regardless of their gender.

This is just a bad argument. How does a married gay couple do anything to change the status of a married straight couple? Any interest there is for children in this secular contract can be maintained precisely the same as it has been for so many decades. It is nice, however, that he says “regardless of gender”. It’s good that there’s a twinkle of hope he realizes that this civil rights issue is centered around gender, not sexual orientation.

The link will eventually go dead (unless you want to pay $2.99 for access to old articles from a paper that normally costs $0.75), so I’m posting the article in full here.

Gerald Talbot (“Civil marriage about equal protection of all under the law”) is certainly entitled to his own opinion that allowing homosexuals to marry is a civil rights issue similar to the black civil rights struggle. But he appears to be outside of the mainstream thinking of most U.S. black leadership.

Barack Obama opposes same-sex marriage and he is not only the most prominent black political leader in the world but a former constitutional law professor. No one would seriously argue that he is not a champion of true civil rights.

Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell also rejects the argument that sexual orientation is comparable to race. He has testified that: “Skin color is a benign, nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.”

Dee Garrett, a black civil rights leader in the South in the 1960s, also rejects the claim that this is a legitimate civil rights issue. In an eloquent statement that is posted on YouTube and was widely circulated in the California black community, she said, “It’s (same-sex marriage) not about civil rights. Racism was about civil rights. Marriage is about society, the future and about our children.”

In California, seven out of 10 black voters agreed and voted for Prop 8, which amended the state’s constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage. Many credit these black voters for passing the amendment.

Garrett understands what Talbot clearly does not. Marriage is not about adult needs, desires or convenience, whether for social and governmental recognition and acceptance, for economic advantages and tax breaks or simply to make their life easier. As she points out, marriage is primarily about children and the future of society. Understanding this fundamental truth allows us to place the demands of this tiny minority to be allowed to “marry” into the correct and socially responsible perspective.

Societies have a vested interest in the welfare of their children because they are the future of that society. A society is more likely to flourish if these children grow up to become responsible, productive and contributing members of that society. In the last half century, social science research has overwhelmingly validated what societies throughout history have learned through practical experience: Children do best by far on every measure of development, achievement and welfare when they are raised by their married biological parents.

It is primarily to encourage the most positive outcomes for their children that societies encourage men and women to marry and provide special protections and incentives for this social institution. Because same-sex couples obviously cannot produce children, societies historically have never even contemplated allowing them to “marry.”

Given the critical role of marriage in society, it is easy to understand that defending man/woman marriage is not discrimination. There is no inherent “right” to marry and societies have always regulated this institution for the best interests of society. Brothers and sisters or parents and children cannot marry, for example, nor can minors.

Legalizing same-sex marriage would so radically change the existing social institution of marriage that it would destroy its time-proven ability to provide essential benefits to society. It would transform marriage from a primarily child-centered institution into something that would be little more than governmental recognition of the professed affection of any two people for each other regardless of their gender.

There is absolutely no assurance that this new social institution of “genderless marriage” would, or even could, provide these same essential societal benefits. If it cannot, society and future generations will suffer serious harm. Whether to legalize genderless marriage is much more than a minority “rights” issue.

Bob Emrich, Plymouth, is director of the Maine Jeremiah Project, a grassroots coalition of social conservatives, organizations and churches who support “the sanctity of life, traditional family values, freedom of religion and educational choice” and a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage in Maine; http://www.mainejeremiahproject.com.

Gay marriage in Maine

People seeking an end to bigotry are pushing for the passage of a bill that would allow homosexuals to marry in Maine, making it one of the few states which does not illegally discriminate on the basis of gender.

“Some have asked if this is the right time,” said Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, the bill sponsor. “To them, I say, this legislation is long overdue.”

The bill would define marriage as the union of two people, rather than one man and one woman. It would allow any two eligible people, regardless of sex, to be issued an application for a marriage license.

This should put an end to the ‘if you allow gay marriage, you should allow beastiality’ argument. It won’t. But it should.

Essentially, “two eligible people”, as far as the secular Maine government is concerned, are two people of age who are capable of consent. That means 18 and with an understanding of the terms of their secular marriage contract – in other words, non-human animals are not eligible since they cannot consent to or understand the contract. Of course, that’s the legal argument. The more interesting argument is that there is no good reason to deny homosexuals a certain set of rights. There is, however, the good reason of allowing two harmless individuals the right to a complete and happy life.

Gov. Baldacci isn’t so sure.

And while several Democratic legislators stood with gay advocates for the announcement, Gov. John Baldacci released a statement saying he hasn’t yet made up his mind on the issue.

“This debate is extremely personal for many people, and it’s an issue that I struggle with trying to find the best path forward,” Baldacci said. “I’m not prepared to say I support gay marriage today, but I will consider what I hear as the Legislature works to find the best way to address discrimination.”

The man has made up his mind. He’s a politician, though, so he needs to be careful with what he does. Maine is in the better part of the country politically, so he does have the advantage of having a fairly liberal constituency, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of bigots, especially in the north. (To give you an idea of the northern Maine bigotry potential, Sarah Palin campaigned there due to Maine splitting its electoral votes. The McCain campaign thought they had a shot up there. They didn’t, but the fact they even tried is disconcerting.)

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Carla Hopkins and Victoria Eleftheriou, of Mount Vernon, who brought their toddler, Eli, to the Statehouse to participate in the event, said they want a secure future for their son.

“The state discriminates against his family and it affects our ability to care for him in very real ways,” Hopkins said.

For example, she said after Eli was born, they had to fight with an employer to get him covered under a health care plan, something that would have been automatic if his parents were married.

This is just one of the differences between marriage and civil unions. Aside from being insulting, they prevent parents from being able to care for their children robustly.

Bob Emrich, a Baptist pastor who leads the Maine Marriage Alliance, said he hopes for a respectful debate on the issue. The alliance wants a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

He said the gay marriage bill is “really bad for society.”

Whoa, back up the irony train. You want to be respectful? Don’t say bigoted things that aren’t true because a piece of literature claims the currently most popular god endorses that bigotry. Then you might have a shot at being respectful. Until then, you’ve done nothing to earn any respect accept insofar as a literary critic deserves respect.

“It’s changing the very foundation of our society,” he said. “It’s going to have a major impact on children. It says something about the importance, or lack of importance, of fathers and mothers.”

Yes, your god forbid children have health insurance and their parents have more complete relationships to reinforce their love. How dreadful.

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