Referendum campaign should stay respectful
Both sides should honor a pledge to keep the effort respectful.
©Copyright 1997 Guy Gannett Communications
Maine people can be proud of their legislators for amending the state's Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation as a protected category.
Once the amendment takes effect, gay people and lesbians finally will have the same protections now afforded citizens based on their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and physical or mental handicap.
Unfortunately, some in the state believe the gay people and lesbians do not deserve such protections, and are working to block them. The Christian Civic League of Maine, which, with the Christian Coalition of Maine, is driving an effort to overturn the Legislature's good work. The league has pledged a positive campaign. While overturning a fair and good law is itself negative, the pledge is commendable and heartening.
Michael Heath, the league's executive director, is an honorable man who promises a respectful campaign. He has an opportunity to show leadership in what could be a divisive time. The campaign is his and the coalition's. They chose to fight Maine's law. They will choose the tenor of the battle.
Both sides should honor the pledge.
Heath's clear voice should ensure his side is as honorable as he is.
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Responses printed on July 1, 1997
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