Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Cutting Through the Lies

Have you seen the new blatantly false Yes on 1 ad?

Oh OK, that wasn't really it. But seriously, Jackie Beat would have SO MUCH FUN spoofing the real one! Yes, it's really that lame.

But unfortunately, more and more of these blatantly false ads are going on the air thanks to major donations from the religious right. It's become increasingly obvious that the same folks who ran Yes on H8 in California are using the exact same dirty tricks to strip marriage equality away from the people of Maine. And as this becomes clear, we need to realize not to make the same mistakes that led to Prop H8's passage.

We can't just ignore the attacks from the religious right. We can't let them goad us into ridiculous arguments over things have have nothing to do with marriage equality. We can't let them distract and bamboozle the Maine electorate into total confusion just like they did in California.

Simply put, the pro-equality campaign needs to get on the offensive and stay on the offensive. We need to point out what would happen if Yes on 1 succeeds. We need to tell the real stories of real families that will be hurt of Question 1 passes.

State Rep. Emily Cain (D-Orono) did a great job of explaining this in today's Bangor Daily News.

This referendum is about children and families, but I disagree with Rev. [Bob] Emrich's assessment of what is at stake. For Emrich [more about this guy here], gender and sexual orientation determine who will be a good parent. In fact, every reputable children's advocacy organization agrees that love and support are what children need most. As Dr. Daniel Summers of the American Academy of Pediatrics testified at the April hearing in Augusta: It is the quality of parenting that predicts children's psychological and social adjustment, not the parents' sexual orientation or gender. He added that children raised by same-sex couples do not differ in any important respect from those raised by heterosexual parents.

All Maine people love their children. But in his crusade to deny marriage equality to thousands of Mainers, Rev. Emrich completely ignores the rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage automatically bestows on couples and on their children. Do we really want to deny these benefits to any Maine child because his or her parents are a same-sex couple? [...]

There are thousands of loving same-sex couples in Maine who have made commitments to one another, many for decades. Marriage equality honors these commitments and acknowledges them under the law. Without marriage equality, Maine law does not recognize these couples as a legal pair. They cannot file taxes jointly, access health insurance as a family or inherit property when one partner dies without the hardship of crushing taxes.

Contrary to Rev. Emrich's apocalyptic view, marriage equality will make Maine families stronger, extend vital rights and protections to the children of the couples who marry and uphold core Maine values of fairness, equality and personal freedom. Let's not forget Massachusetts. New government statistics show Massachusetts with the lowest divorce rate in the country, down to 2 divorces per 1,000 residents, a drop from 2.2 before 2004 when same-sex couples began marrying. This is down to pre-World War II levels. Obviously, the dire predictions about the downfall of society have not come to pass and thousands of families there are stronger as a result.

Now this is what I'm talking about! And already, the No on 1 campaign is wasting no time getting on the air to tell the truth about marriage equality!

This is what's motivating me to do whatever I can to help protect marriage equality in Maine. I also hope this is inspiring you to join me on my online walk for equality in Maine by donating whatever you can to No on 1. The campaign wants to air additional ads to counter the radical right lies, but they need to have the money in hand by tomorrow to make it happen. We have no time to waste in ensuring No on 1 has the resources necessary to cut through Yes on 1's BS and tell the truth to Maine voters!

Btw, hot off the presses, here's No on 1's new response ad!

So please, please join me in this online walk for equality in Maine by donating whatever you can to make sure No on 1 can stay on the air with ads like these and make the voter contacts needed to turn out the vote in November! Thanks.

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