The Sun Journal printed a story Jan. 2, “Gay rights group endorses Michaud in governor’s race,” in which Eliot Cutler’s people made a big deal about Michaud’s 19 consecutive votes in the Maine Legislature against equal rights for the LGBT community.

After reading the article, I took pause and reflected on Michaud’s, and my own, French-Catholic heritage. We were raised to believe that being gay was a mortal sin and was unacceptable in our Franco-American community. In fact, when I was 10 years old, my favorite uncle committed suicide. I was told later in life that he was gay and could not cope with being the family outcast.

I cannot imagine what was going on in Michaud’s mind when it came to voting on gay issues. After all, he was representing the people of a mostly Franco-American-Catholic community who were primarily against gay rights.

The turmoil of wanting to vote for what he personally wanted versus his vote for what his constituents wanted must have been heart-wrenching, but he always voted the will of his constituents.

That speaks volumes about his commitment to the people he represents.

Times have changed and now Michaud is free to be what he is with acceptance, and his commitment to the people of Maine will continue to be unfaltering.

Al Pelletier, Norway

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