Click here for the Maine GayNet Home Page -- Links to our groups and organizations
|Camera icon indicates an included picture.||Choose the archive for 1995 1996 1997:June -->|
Chitwood received kudos from an interesting constituency - police officers and other law enforcement officials from throughout New England who acknowledge they are homosexuals.
The state Attorney General's Office has filed a civil-rights complaint against a 45-year-old man accused of threatening and yelling homophobic slurs at his Portland landlady.
Gov. Angus King will try to convince the Christian Civic League of Maine not to fight a new law that protects the civil rights of homosexuals. He is urging opponents not to use the so-called ''people's veto'', but the Christian Civic League has said it probably will try to do just that.
The split falls between these two types of groups: Maine's so-called ''religious right,'' embodied in groups such as the Christian Civic League of Maine and Christian Coalition of Maine, and Cosby's Concerned Maine Families, a secular political organization she founded to fight gay rights. The schism is not new, but it is significant and it has reappeared at a critical juncture.
From the "Washington Watch" column --The passage of the gay-rights law in Maine has received a fair amount of attention in the nation's capital.
Scenes from a small town: He knew he was different ever since he was a little fella, knee-high to a grasshopper. But he ignored it, tried to make it go away, got into trouble over it, then just about three weeks ago, 24-year old Greenville native Robert Warman reconciled with himself to accept just who he is, a homosexual, and live honestly, within his hometown.
|Portland Press Herald -- Saturday, May 17, 1997|
The moment was a compelling one for more than 200 people - legislators, gay-rights advocates and their supporters - who looked on. Many wept freely as King signed the gay-rights bill, and spoke about events that led up to it.
''You have been ridiculed, hated, discriminated against . . . not for what you choose, but for what God's nature made you. Not for something you had control over, but for what you are.''
Concerned Maine Families will not get involved in the latest repeal effort against gay rights.
Backed by legislative supporters of the present and flanked by legislative sponsors from the past, Gov. Angus King signed a bill Friday extending civil rights protection to gays and lesbians in Maine.King's action in a ceremony in the State House Hall of Flags, concluding a two-decade push for passage, was cheered by scores of onlookers.
"...if freedom from public discrimination is "special" when it comes to gays, then we all have much to fear when the self-annointed protectors of society swing their heavy-handed broadaxe our way looking for their next target."
Carolyn Cosby of Concerned Maine Families said she will decide within a week whether to try to have that law repealed.
''She held a news conference to say nothing,'' said Rep. Richard Thompson, D-Naples, a sponsor of the gay-rights bill.
. . . something extraordinary happened: For two solid hours, the Maine House defined the difference between politics and leadership, between cowardice and conscience, between doing what is safe and doing what is right.
Now that Maine is about to protect the civil rights of homosexuals, will opponents demand a referendum to overturn the new law? Can they get it on the ballot? And if they do, what will the voters say?
To the gay community, he was a risk-taker known as Megabucks Mike. To neighbors and employees, he was an incomparably warm and generous friend. He was Michael Allen, a 34-year-old Army veteran who went from cab driver to millionaire when his Tri-State Megabucks number came up.
Maine Gov. Angus King reaffirmed his intention Friday to sign gay rights legislation and blasted opponents' efforts to block the measure by public referendum.
After the vote, gay activists and supporters gathered outside the door to the House loudly cheering and applauding departing legislators who supported them.
"It feels like a long time coming,'' said Karen Geraghty of the Maine Lesbian-Gay Political Alliance. "It's extremely satisfying. We certainly hope this strong vote in both bodies sends the message that Maine is ready to move beyond discriminating against gay men and lesbians.''
Foes of a gay rights bill that's on its way to Gov. Angus King for his signature said Friday they will spend the weekend regrouping and planning their next move. Carolyn Cosby of the group Concerned Maine Families said it ``seems very likely'' she and her supporters will mount a referendum campaign to either block or overturn the bill
The 84-61 House vote came one day after the Senate backed the bill, 28-5.
Gov. Angus King has promised to sign the bill into law.
Many legislators who said they supported the measure recalled the humiliation of being ridiculed - or worse - for being Irish or Jewish or Catholic or French. Many more lawmakers said they were convinced that gay people in Maine suffer injustice because of their sexual orientation.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Rep. Michael Brennan could not help but feel a sense of deja vu. Four years ago, the Portland Democrat was a member of the Maine Legislature that passed a bill outlawing discrimination against homosexuals, only to see it vetoed by then-Gov. John McKernan. On Thursday night, the bill was back in the House and this time riding the momentum of a strong Senate vote of approval and Gov. Angus King's promise to sign it.
The House voted 84-61 Thursday to extend the special civil rights to gays and lesbians, one day after a 28-5 vote for the same measure in the Senate. It marks the first time in two decades there's been agreement on homosexual rights in Maine.
On Tuesday, about three dozen foes of the bill held a short but boisterous rally at the Capitol. The event's organizers claimed the tide was turning in their favor.
Reminiscences of a first kiss. Accounts of discrimination. Chit-chat about a new nightclub, religion and sex, human rights legislation and how to survive and thrive being gay in Maine. It's all part of Maine GayNet, an Internet mail list that has broken the isolation of gays and lesbians in this far-flung state since going online in 1994.
A Cony High School student from Windsor abused a 15-year-old Augusta boy in hallways and classrooms for at least four months, according to the complaint. In filing the lawsuit Wednesday in Superior Court, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Wessler cited the persistence of the harassment and the violence of the initial attack.
Poignant experiences stroked with humor were well-appreciated by a gathering of people watching the "Ellen'' episode at Kate Perkins's home in Kennebunk. Probably the thing that appealed most was how actress Ellen DeGeneres and her writers conveyed the lead character as a person with real feelings, fears and desires.
The 13-member Judiciary Committee split 8-3 on the bill Tuesday, with one member absent and another undecided. The absent and undecided members may eventually join the minority. A vote that close means debates are likely in the House and Senate when the bill reaches the full Legislature, probably next week.
In the Portland area, ''Everybody's talking about (the show),'' said Barbara Wood, a former Portland city councilor. ''The past couple of weeks, people I know in the gay community are really starting to ask, 'Where are you going to be watching it?' ''
Brunswick woman's book shares the fullness and realities of lesbian life. Excerpts show richness of 'The Heart's Progress: A Lesbian Memoir'
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political organization, Tuesday unveiled a new ad about job discrimination that will air during the long-awaited ''coming-out episode'' of the ABC sitcom, ''Ellen.'' IT will be shown April 30 in 33 cities, including Portland.
Once the rhetoric had drained away, a scummy tub ring would have been left around the state of Maine.
Maine's perennial debate over equal rights for homosexuals began anew Tuesday when 500 people turned out at the Augusta Civic Center for an emotionally charged hearing on the latest gay-rights bill.
With a sitting governor backing their fight this time, gay rights activists argued Tuesday for a law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
''Only if you are gay or lesbian can we legally discriminate against you in the state of Maine,'' says Abromson.
That should not be.
The full text of the bill before the Maine Legislature.
For principle's sake, Gov. King should have vetoed the citizen-initiated ban against same-gender marriages that passed the Legislature last week. For civility's sake, he should have done just what he did.
Bill Nemitz Op-Ed -- "Give it a rest, Carolyn. You have your misguided marriage ban - constitutional flaws and all. What you're not going to get is a fight."
About three dozen Bates College students demonstrated at the State House against the Legislature's passage of a same-sex-marriage ban, which Gov. Angus King is allowing to become law without his signature.
Gov. Angus King refused to sign the ban into law Monday, and said the measure sows ''hate and division'' among state residents.Gay rights supporters praised King for his stand. Opponents condemned him for ignoring the wishes of 62,000 voters who signed petitions supporting the ban on same-sex marriages.
Gov. Angus King said Monday he will let the gay-marriage ban enacted by the Maine Legislature last week become law without his signature.The governor said his decision was not an easy one. He said he has "a deep respect for the institution of marriage and its religious roots.''
Gov. Angus King refused to sign the ban into law Monday, saying the measure sows ''hate and division'' among state residents.Gay rights supporters praised King for his stand. Opponents condemned him for ignoring the wishes of 62,000 voters who signed petitions supporting the ban on same-sex marriages.
The executive director of The AIDS Project, Stephen T. Moskey - who joined The AIDS Project last July - has resigned, saying he is unprepared to deal with the social service agency's new union.
A citizen-initiated bill that would ban same sex marriages has won grudging support from a divided Judiciary Committee. Some legislators said they endorsed the bill Thursday to avoid having it go out to a referendum.
At Wednesday's public hearing witnesses on both sides of the issue agreed the bill would have a deep and lasting effect on Maine families, but they disagreed on whether that impact would be positive or negative.
About 300 people attended the session, which at times seemed more like a prayer meeting than a hearing. Bible verses condemning homosexuality were read to the Judiciary Committee, and the word "Amen" punctuated addresses by supporters.
Most members of a key legislative committee probably will vote to ban homosexual marriages, but a few members want to let the voters decide. The prospect of a close committee vote suggests the ban could lead to intense debate in the full Legislature when the Judiciary Committee sends its recommendation to the House and Senate.
The 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is the highest court yet to hold that people with HIV are subject to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, even if they show no AIDS symptoms.
From the governor on down, many politicians support a gay-rights bill in the Legislature that would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination based on sexual orientation. At the same time, a large number of the same politicians support another bill that would prohibit homosexual marriages in Maine and prevent Maine from recognizing such marriages performed in other states.
"Many students at OHHS have no tolerance for those they believe are homosexual, Principal Philip Blood said following Monday's mandatory classes on Maine civil rights law.
The Legislature has not yet acted on an initiative to ban same-sex marriages in Maine. But it is unlikely to draft a competing measure of its own as it did with the forestry referendum last year, top legislators say.
''I think that's going to pass,'' Rep. Richard H. Thompson, D-Naples, said of the bill's prognosis in the House. Thompson, a Judiciary co-chairman, said a ''tremendous number'' of civic groups, business groups and other organizations are likely to speak for the bill when the Judiciary Committee holds a public hearing in March. No date has yet been set for the hearing.
The Maine Speakout Project for Equal Rights has two needs. The first is foropportunities to address community groups on the subject of discrimination based on sexual orientation. The second is for volunteers to join members working on this project.
"Maine is too good a state to discriminate."
''We need to send a strong message that it is no longer permissible to allow discrimination against gays and lesbians when they fill out a job application, wish to buy a house or rent an apartment, want to eat in a public restaurant or apply for credit,'' said Republican State Sen. Joel Abromson
Peter Haffenreffer of Cape Elizabeth will be honored tonight with the Maine Lesbian & Gay Political Alliance's Cameron Duncan Award for his support of, and volunteer work in, the gay and lesbian community.
Concerned Maine Families collected 62,032 valid signatures, far more than the 51,131 it needed for a citizens initiative. The Legislature has the choice of approving the measure or putting it on the ballot for November's general election. It must decide before the end of the current legislative session.
A dance club at 121 Center St. would be named Millennium and cater primarily to Portland's gay and lesbian community. The club is tentatively scheduled to open on Feb. 28 in the building that housed Morganfield's blues club
Gov. Angus King was an up-front opponent of the discriminatory anti-gay rights initiative defeated by Maine voters two years ago. However, apparently marriage isn't a right. How else to explain his position on the referendum proposing a ban on same-sex marriages?
Lawrence Lockman, vice-chairman of Concerned Maine Families dispenses a heavy dose of inflamatory rhetoric in a published letter to the editor.
|February 4, 1997||Response from Dale Goodwin||Response from Mel Vassey|
Concerned Maine Families now says it has enough signatures to put a proposal before the Legislature to ban same-sex marriages. Larry Lockman, vice chairman of Concerned Maine Families, also says the group believes lawmakers will adopt the ban outright rather than put it on the fall ballot as a referendum.
Gay-rights bills proposed in the Legislature this year have their best chance ever of becoming law - because of bipartisan support, a supportive governor and greater social acceptance of gay rights.
Laura Conaway takes a hard look at AIDS treatment in these heady days of optimism --
While the overall number of HIV-infected people in Maine is still small, it continues to grow. State officials estimate 100 persons test positive for the virus each year. Under the increasing weight of patients who need expensive treatments, the cracks in Maine's health care system are beginning to show.
Go to The Maine GayNet Archive for 1996 1995 and before
It would be
wonderful if you could type or scan the material into an ASCII text file.