Maine GayNet - Always read before you sign

August 1997

Always read before you sign

Unfortunately, this is a free country. That means that Michael Heath and his minions can push petitions under the, noses of people who frequently will not know what the petition-pushers are talking about, but will sign so they can get on with their day; and these petitions can lead to a referendum question, which judging by those of the past will be impossible to understand. As a result enough people just may vote to try to make life miserable for gays and lesbians.

That's called man's inhumanity to man and it is particularly hateful coming from a group that shields itself with the fears and doubts, emotions and longings, and the very personal issues that contribute to the armor of the word "Christian." Governor Angus King was offended by Heath's claim that this Is a moral issue and that Portland, which passed a gay rights law five years ago, is a "moral gutter." We are offended, too.

This is not a moral issue at all, it would seem to be about that old demon, sex. Wags used to say "God created sex as a joke, and when He discovered people took it seriously, He made it a sin." So this appears to be about the sin of sex and the squeamishness of some about what "these gays and lesbians do."

If you have any gay and lesbian friends, and it's hard to imagine anyone who doesn't, you will know what they do is what us heterosexuals do. They hold down jobs; go to work in the morning; are wonderful doctors, painters, musicians, dancers; hold public office honorably, and, in Portland alone, many gays and lesbians are owners of their own businesses producing a variety of goods and services. They rent and buy homes and raise families. In most every way they fit into the broad spectrum with the rest of us-the good, the bad and the so-so.

Next time a petition is shoved under your nose, whether the person is wearing a little button marked "Christian" or not, read it very carefully before you sign. Otherwise we'll still have the hurdle to jump of whether those words in the referendum say what they mean.

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