The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, Oct. 4, 6:03 p.m.

Op-Ed: Bigotry is ‘incompatible’ with Maine values

Same-sex couples are chemically and biologically “incompatible.” That’s quite a statement. It was penned in a letter to the editor in the Oct. 28 edition of The Maine Campus. The statement denotes a certain scientific displacement from what are actually being discussed — basic human rights in the state of Maine.

I’m not going to pretend to be well versed in the legal jargon of L.D. 1020 or the scientific nomenclature of perceived physical incompatibilities between same-sex couples. I’ll even admit, my general strategy for crossing the mall lately has been to latch onto innocent passers-by, use them as a shield against the aggressive No on 1 campaigners and let them take the fall as I saunter off to class while they are embroiled in political discussion.

Yes, I’m a procrastinator and only requested an absentee ballot by mail last week — no early campus voting for me. Let’s hope it gets here in time. I keep checking my mailbox, but no dice.

The author of the letter explains how marriage “is meant to build and strengthen society by creating healthy, happy families.” I struggle to understand how this lovely and hopeful definition of marriage is incompatible with a same-sex couple’s marriage.

Repealing the legality of same-sex marriage is an act of bigotry that cannot be tolerated anywhere, especially in Maine, where all ways of life are tolerated. Our state slogan, “The way life should be,” implies a unique culture where all are accepted and welcomed. That Question 1 is even on the ballot is ludicrous. This is not what Mainers should be concentrating their efforts, time and money on. Same-sex marriage was already established as “legal” and socially acceptable, and by implication of that legality, same sex couples are “compatible” at the very least, in a strictly legal definition. The proposed repeal defies the tolerance this state and country stand for.

This letter seemed to appeal to the reader to vote yes on Question 1 on behalf of children. The author draws upon gender-neutral legal language and potential adoptive relationships between same-sex couples and their children to bolster the argument.

The author writes, “Your mother will no longer by law be your ‘mother.’”

I’ll put it this way: If same-sex parents adopt you, obviously neither of them is your biological mother. How would this change if your adoptive parents were “different-sex?”

Neither of them would be your biological mother either. Why not merely change the gender restrictive language in our legal documents to that which is gender-inclusive? Isn’t that why our legal documents can be amended and altered in the first place?

The author writes that the bill contains language that “must be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.” If the author is only concerned with legal verbiage, well, that is a fairly easy problem to solve — through alternative means other than ostensible home wrecking.

On several occasions, I have agreed to volunteer for the campus No on 1 campaign. I just can never seem to find the time to actually go. Then I see the strange incoming call on my cell phone screen. That’s when I usually guiltily press “ignore” so as to avoid being reprimanded for my inability to keep my word. Despite my civic transgressions and political half-heartedness, I do not see the validity of an argument that relies on homophobic views of compatibility. I’m voting no on Question 1.

Maddy Glover is a senior childhood development student.

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