TURNER — A Livermore Falls man whose "Yes on 1" signs were disappearing from the Route 4 roadside said he was the one who left a cryptic note for the thieves.
But Allen Parker told the Sun Journal on Saturday he was not responsible for the recent disappearance of a 9-foot, papier-mache Statue of Liberty accompanying "No on 1" signs in the same area.
"I had absolutely nothing to do with that statue," he said.
Parker, who is not affiliated with the Mainers United for Marriage campaign, said he'd been erecting signs independently in support of same-sex marriage on Route 4 near the intersection of Route 117. When he'd drive past the location later, they'd be gone. Other times, "No on 1" signs appeared directly in front of his signs, rendering them unreadable.
The last time that happened, he said he left a newspaper at the site with an article circled that referenced the penalty for sign stealing, which is $250. He wrote a note on the page that read: "I guess Christians aren't moral after all!!!"
He said his note was intended for the takers of the signs he was repeatedly losing at the site. Because it was near a church, he thought those responsible for the theft might have been members of that church, though he had no proof. He doesn't believe that's true now.
On Friday, a local couple reported that the statue accompanying their anti-same-sex marriage signs had been taken.
Parker said the statue was still there when he left his note.
Since then, the statue has reappeared, Parker said. On Saturday, he put a new "Yes on 1" sign on the roadside. The statue was back in place, he said.
When he returned later Saturday, evening, the statue had been taken away for the night, he assumed for safe-keeping. But his sign had been moved to a location where it couldn't be seen easily, he said.
The couple who planted the "No on 1" signs and the statue had told the Sun Journal they were not responsible for taking the rival signs. They said they believed the missing statue had been intended as retribution for the missing "Yes on 1" signs.
Wayne Viger, a local volunteer for Protect Marriage Maine had been setting the statue out every morning and taking it home every night until Thursday night when he didn't have time to retrieve it, his wife, Carolyn, told the Sun Journal.
The next morning it was gone, she said
Parker said he called the couple and they told him the statue had been returned behind the church.