Friday, August 7, 2009

NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality's Opposition Issues Condescending Response to Their Call for a Fair Campaign

On Thursday, the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality issued a press release in which they announced they signed Maine's code of campaign ethics and sent a letter to the opposition, Stand for Marriage Maine, to do the same.

Today, the anti-LGBT campaign responded with the following letter.
Stand for Marriage Maine Campaign Pledge

August 06, 2009

Mr. Jesse Connolly, Campaign Manager
No on One, Protect Maine Equality

Dear Jesse:

We are aware from media reports today that you have sent a "pledge" to conduct an ethical campaign consistent with Maine practice and statutes for Frank Schubert of Schubert/Flint to sign. We are pleased that your campaign has finally responded to our long-standing call for both sides of this issue to conduct an honest, civil and respectful campaign. We are pleased you have accepted our challenge.

Stand for Marriage Maine will be signing the campaign conduct pledge form you provided.

We were delighted to see your commitment to "uphold the right of every qualified voter to free and equal participation in the election process." This is quite a change of direction given the extraordinary efforts made by Equality Maine and your allies to prevent Maine voters from having any say on this issue whatsoever during the Legislative session.

In addition to conducting an honest and forthright campaign, we hope that you will agree with us on the following principles.
  • Agree to at least one public debate with the media invited to cover it live. The voters deserve to hear from both sides of this important issue in a forum that allows for a full discussion of the ramifications of LD 1020.
  • Agree that no contributor, volunteer or staff member will be harassed due to their participation in the campaign. Regretfully, supporters of marriage in California and other states were repeatedly harassed by gay marriage activists including posting their personal information on the Web, having their employers called, and subjecting them to various forms of intimidation.
  • Agree that property will not be destroyed, as has happened elsewhere. This includes destroying or defacing campaign signs, damaging vehicles containing bumper stickers and defacing churches that are active in the campaign.
  • Agree that churches on both sides of the issue will be dealt with respectfully and no attempt will be made to interfere with their lawful expression of beliefs or discussion with their members and the public.
We hope you can join us in making this pledge Jesse for the well being and safety of all and for the opportunity to have a fact-filled and honest debate over this important issue.

In the future we urge you to address your concerns to those that are charged with the decision making responsibility for our campaign. As I think you already know, Schubert/Flint are under contract with our campaign but it is the Executive Committee, Bob Emrich, Brian Brown, and myself as chair, that make the final call.


Marc R Mutty, Chair, Executive Committee
Bob Emrich, Executive Committee
Is anyone's blood boiling yet? Mine sure is. It takes quite a bit to get me riled, but this sure did it. The blatant disregard for many, many facts pisses me off beyond belief.

However, I always say, when you're angry, STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!

So I'll let Louise over at Pam's House Blend, do the responding. She's done a great job covering what's happening in Maine. Here are a few excerpts:
Yeah- the public hearing was held "silently". In a vaccuum [sic], with no media coverage and no open debate, discussion or participation whatsoever.

It's not as if it was rescheduled from its original location at Cony High to the Augusta Civic Center, a much larger place, and certainly it's not as if the entire public hearing, as well as the debates in the Statehouse and votes weren't available live online.

Or covered by both print and television media- locally, nationally and even internationally.

It's not as if the public were invited to testify for an entire day, and even extended an additional hour, as there were so many still waiting in line to speak.


Trying to play the "gay panic card" is repulsive. Trying to use it to damage fellow Mainers and their families is unforgiveable [sic]


....if you've hired Schubert/Flint, why are YOU being THEIR spokespersons?

They're the supposed media experts, right? Soooo.... why did neither Jeff Flint or Frank Schubert mention this point of "who is running the show" over the course of the past 2 weeks of media coverage?

Seems you might wanna renegotiate the terms of their contract...
Seriously, a public debate? They had DAYS of public debate, and they lost. The legislature voted to legalize marriage equality, a means by which the opposition once condoned to put the kibosh on same-sex marriage because that's how they succeeded in stifling LGBT rights in the past. But since that didn't work this time (a developing pattern), they threw a hissy fit and now want to put a minority group's rights up for the taking by a majority vote.

And there has been tons of confusion surrounding who is running their campaign - will it be the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland's Bishop Richard Malone, or Peter LaBarbara's "Americans For Truth" Board Chairman Mike Heath or the Christian Civic League "Maine Family Policy Council" or the Diocese' lobbyist Marc Mutty (paid for by NOM) or is it Frank Schubert of Prop 8 fame who already responded yesterday? But if it is Frank, then why is the campaign that he's supposedly a spokesperson for, responding again, without him?

Confused? Yeah, you're not alone.

So the condescending tone issued in Stand for Marriage Maine's response just highlights their lack of organization.

The NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign has been organizing way in advance of the opposition because they knew very well the potential for the new marriage equality law would be threatened by a "People's Veto" and they were right. They know their state well and will fight hard to protect the rights of LGBT to marry.

But they will need our help. Be sure to visit the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality website and see what you can do to help.

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