Maine religious leaders get it right

A collection of religious leaders across Maine recently held a news conference advocating that Maine end its current policy of active discrimination.

BANGOR — Religious leaders across the state held news conferences Thursday to urge Mainers to end marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, and called for the state to create same-sex civil marriages.

“We feel a moral obligation at this pivotal time to raise our voices on behalf of Mainers who are denied that most basic human right — the right to marry and form a family with the person of their choice,” said the Rev. Mark Doty, pastor at the Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Bangor.

It’s refreshing to see some of the semi-rational religious leaders of Maine finally get their voice out there (there are still religious leaders, hence the “semi”). Of course, with the semi-rational leaders come the crazies.

“I [Marc Mutty, director of the Office of Public Affairs] don’t think [the coalition] represents a great majority of the religious community in Maine,” he said. “They represent marriage as a civil right and believe that anyone that meets certain criteria should be able to marry.

Of course they don’t represent a majority of the religious community. They aren’t bigots.

“Marriage is the building block of society and includes procreation,” Mutty continued. “Without procreation, and same sex couples can’t, they’re missing out on a huge piece of the puzzle. The argument is not any more complicated than that.”

It’s beyond me why someone thinks this is a valid argument. It is not required that one have children or even touch one’s partner upon obtaining a marriage license. Intent or ability to procreate is irrelevant when the state issues a marriage license.

Unfortunately, one of the semi-rational leaders had to go and reconfirm the need for the “semi” before he stopped speaking.

“I cannot fathom a God who would discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity,” she said. “My Universalist tradition believes that God loves everyone equally. Why then should we deny anyone who loves the right to make a lifelong marriage commitment?”

I can fathom a god who is misogynistic. It isn’t very hard. I can also fathom one that discriminates based upon sexual orientation. In fact, the particular Christian god feels sodomy is a capital crime.