The religious right reached a new low in the fight against gay marriage. Representative David Johnson (R-Eddington) has called on voters in Maine to reject marriage equality by exploiting the memory of his dead gay brother.
Marriage equality is once again up for a public vote in Maine in the form of Question 1 which would legalize same-sex marriage. Gay marriage has in the past year regularly polled to show a majority now support same-sex couples accessing marriage. As such, opponents have had to go further than their usual tropes in order to make an impact. Pulling the “my dead brother” card was not something anyone expected.
That is, however, precisely what Rep. Johnson, shilling for Protect Marriage Maine, has done as he affirmed their message that you can still love “someone involved in a homosexual relationship” while at the same time voting against their rights.
Today, Representative David Johnson (R-Eddington), issued a statement from his own personal experience with his brother that you can love someone involved in a homosexual relationship while also strongly disagreeing with their lifestyle. In April, Johnson lost his brother, who struggled through a two-year battle with cancer and was in a 25+ year relationship with his partner.
“I miss my brother and stay in contact with his partner because I love them both and know many other gay couples and love them dearly as well. The fact remains that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman, and we have no right to redefine marriage. It has taken me a while, but I have finally figured out that God’s plan is better than man’s plan in all aspects of life. He constructed marriage this way for a reason. Numerous studies confirm this, showing that kids do much better when raised by their married mother and father.”
Johnson added, “On Tuesday, we will decide between affirming God’s plan for marriage, or seeking our own route. Please join me in voting no on Question 1, after all our Nation’s motto is still, ‘In God we trust.’”
So yes, you are now expected to vote against marriage equality, and therein deny the rights of citizens like Rep. Johnson’s brother and his brother’s partner, who Protect Marriage Maine note were in a “25+ year relationship,” because Rep. Johnson believes he knows what his god thinks about the gay “lifestyle” and what “God’s plan” is for humankind.
Also, “Numerous studies confirm…kids do much better when raised by their married mother and father” is a deliberate misdirect that Protect Marriage Maine and Rep. Johnson should be mortified to utter.
While studies have shown that two parent households are beneficial for a child rearing environment, inferring that opposite-gender parents are a prerequisite for an optimal life has never been proven by any reputable scientific study, and there is a great deal of evidence to suggest same-sex couples, despite being precluded from marriage rights at both the state and federal level, raise children at least as well as heterosexual couples.
Equality advocates suffered a bitter defeat in 2008 when Maine’s voters, to much surprise, decided to block a marriage equality law the Legislature had passed earlier that year.
This Election Day Maine joins Washington and Maryland in subjecting the legalization of gay marriage to a popular vote, while Minnesota voters will decide whether to codify discrimination and enact a constitutional amendment building on the existing state level ban on gay marriage.
This year has been hotly tipped as a potentially landmark year for marriage equality as predictions would suggest that marriage equality’s losing streak at the ballot box may be about to come to an end.
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