Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maine News Update: Catholic Church Continues to Raise Yes on 1 Funds; Yes on 1 to Go After Diverse Families; Professor in Ad Sparks Outrage

Maine's Catholic Church Pours More Money Into Question 1

In Catholic parishes across the state Sunday, a recorded message from Bishop Malone played in which he asked four things from church members, reports the Bangor Daily News: pray that “marriage as we know it” prevails, financially support the Yes on 1 campaign, volunteer in support of the campaign and vote yes on Question 1.

“Marriage matters,” the bishop stated. “This above all things is the driving force behind Question 1.”

Despite research claiming otherwise
, Malone claimed that history shows that a family with one man and one woman provides the best upbringing for children.

“Same-sex marriage is a dangerous sociological experiment that many of us believe will have negative consequences for society as a whole,” he said. “Children need the love of a mother and a father.”

Following the message, another special collection was held for the Yes on 1 campaign.

In a statement released Sunday, Catholics for Marriage Equality (C4ME) want the public to know that the bishop does not speak for all church members.

“The informed consciences of many Catholics compel them to reject the bishop's political opinion about same-sex marriage,” said Anne Underwood, a founding member of C4ME. “Marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament reserved to the Church to define and administer. Civil marriage is a right of the state to define and with it comes over 300 state benefits to better the lives of our families and children. No church can morally deprive families and children of state recognition.”

Yes on 1 Campaign to Deride Diverse Families

The Yes on 1 campaign is gearing up to attack a 35-minute educational film currently being shown to Maine 5th graders titled That's a Family! Here's the trailer:

Made in 2000 and screened at the White House during Clinton's administration, the film educates students on family diversity. Profiling single-parent families, adopted children, bi-racial families, children of divorced parents and of gay and lesbian couples, the focus of the documentary is that all families are different but equal.

Yet the Yes on 1 campaign doesn't believe so.

Frank Schubert, main consultant for the Yes on Prop 8 campaign and who successfully scared parents in California to vote against marriage equality because he told them "homosexual marriage" would be taught in schools, is hoping to do the same in Maine. However, it may not work this time.

Maine's NO on 1 campaign has already claimed that Maine schools should be a haven for children who come from all families. Potentially, if Schubert goes after this film, the public can see him as attacking all other families who don't fit the heterosexual mold.

On top of this, since the film is already being shown in Maine's public schools, doesn't this show that voting against marriage equality will have no effect on school curriculum? It is a separate issue that should be taken up with the local school boards, a process that Schubert, who is not from Maine, has criticized.

The Yes on Prop 8 campaign also used President Obama's statement that he believes marriage is between one man and one woman, despite the fact that he also said that discrimination should not be in legislation. The his helped convince many in the African American community to vote in favor of banning marriage equality. But just this past Monday, in his Family Day Proclamation, Obama included families of gays and lesbians: "Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things."

(On a related note, David Mixner states that Obama needs to speak up now against Question 1, lest his words be twisted again in favor of discriminatory legislation.)

If the Yes on 1 campaign goes down this road, they could be sending the message that if children don't belong to a nuclear, heterosexual family, then kids should keep the fact hidden in fear of being bullied.

Boston College Professor Sparks Outrage By Appearing in Yes on 1 Ad

Fox News reports
The appearance of Scott Fitzgibbons, a professor in the Boston College Law School, in an ad campaign in support of the Maine Marriage Initiative, which seeks to overturn Governor John Baldacci's signature of the same-sex marriage bill, has sparked controversy in the BC Law School.

Fitzgibbons did not obtain clearance from the BC Law School before appearing in the advertisement, in which he stated his opposition to gay marriage and identified himself as a BC professor.


In the wake of the advertisement's release, it became apparent that Fitzgibbon's public stance on gay marriage was a sensitive reality for many members of the Law School community.

In a letter released last week, Law School Dean John Garvey spoke to the emotions expressed by several members of this community.

"Professor Fitzgibbon, as a member of our faculty, is free to express his views … we also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly," Garvey said. "As I think any of our faculty might have done, he stated his views without prior notice to or clearance from the Law School."

Garvey's letter also details what was outlined in a memorandum recently released by the university, clarifying their stance on what behavior it deems acceptable in the context of professors publicly expressing their political opinions.

Among the list of prohibited political actions faced by faculty and staff are the usage university letterhead to distribute printed materials supporting a candidate, the endorsement of a political candidate at university events and holding political rallies or fund-raisers in university facilities.
I find it rather ironic that Fitzgibbon would use hypothetical consequences of law while living in a state that has had marriage equality for five years and seems to be functioning just swell and boasts the lowest divorce rate in the country.

Yet he doesn't see it that way.

"Legal consequences of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage are detailed in a letter to the governor of Maine from four law professors," he said to Fox. "These legal concerns underlie, in part, my opposition to that legalization."

Get involved with the NO on 1 campaign
! There's only five weeks left before election!

ACTION: The campaign must turn in a third quarter report on finances that will be made public. The media will scrutinize it to determine if the NO on 1 campaign is strong enough to win.

Help reach their goal of raising $28,000 by Wednesday midnight. DONATE HERE!

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