In his July 29 column Doug Rooks approached the issue of same-sex marriage with a perspective that is out of touch with the values of the majority of Mainers.
A handful of liberal Republicans supporting a genderless definition of marriage is hardly breaking news, and his description of redefining marriage as a “crystal clear civil rights issue” is not in sync with community conversations of typical Maine citizens.
Rooks writes that it is “numb” to say that attitudes toward marriage have not shifted. But not everyone believes the talking points from Boston-based GLAAD.
If there is numbness evident, it is in the notion that large numbers of people are “rethinking” their support for traditional marriage between one man and one woman just because President Barack Obama cannot make up his mind.
After this lack of research, it was not surprising that he accused me of “derision” because I quoted a historical fact about the roots of the Republican Party. Or that he regarded it as belittling to point out the fact that the Republicans supporting redefining marriage did not include any Republican leadership.
I did not say the individuals were “insignificant,” as Rooks wrongfully claims. I did say, and still believe, that the event was insignificant. Was it “fuming” to question why these people called themselves Republicans when they publicly oppose the historic position and the current platform of the party?
Rooks avoided writing about the consequences of redefining marriage. Gay marriage would not exist in the law outside traditional marriage. The initiative redefines marriage for everyone. And anyone who disagrees with this new definition of marriage will potentially find themselves facing consequences.
Citizens, small businesses and religious organizations would not be allowed to let their beliefs and traditions determine their decisions, and they would find themselves in legal trouble if they did not comply with the new law's heavy-handed mandates.
This is already happening in neighboring Vermont where Christian innkeepers were sued over their refusal to make their facilities available for same-sex weddings, despite offers to refer the couples to other providers and in spite of the deeply held religious views of the innkeepers.
And, in Massachusetts, when kids as young as second grade were taught about gay marriage in class, the courts ruled that parents had no right to prior notice, or to opt their children out of such instruction.
Rooks, and the Sun Journal, are attempting to make marriage a political issue. It isn’t.
Current laws already afford same-sex couples legal equality. The initiative being advanced by gay advocates isn't, therefore, about equality. It is a political exercise to force their will on society so that society issues a stamp of approval on homosexual relationships.
Bob Emrich, Plymouth
Chairman of Protect Marriage Maine
and pastor of Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church