Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Maine Rejects Christian Right's Plea to Discriminate; Texas Joins KKK In Saying "Bring It On"

In Tuesday’s voting Maine voters rejected a bid by the Christian right to repeal a state civil rights law that protects gay, lesbian and transgender persons from discrimination. By a vote of 57%-43%, Maine’s voters rejected the veto proposed by the Christian Civic League, which is Maine’s version of Advance America. This marked the third occasion this Christian hate group had placed a measure on the ballot asking the state’s voters to veto Maine’s non-discrimination law after being passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor. Each of the two previous ballot measures was narrowly approved by the state’s voters.

Maine is the 17th state in the country to ban discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation; 7 states similarly bar discrimination of transgender persons. Supporters of Maine’s gay civil rights law called the conduct of the Christian right during the campaign for the ballot measure “reprehensible.” Christian right groups distributed campaign materials suggesting that the law would prevent schools from firing teachers who were pedophiles, while radio and television ads in favor of the proposition urged its passage “to protect your right to protect your children.”

Meanwhile, Texas voters by a margin of 75%-25% approved a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages, which was initiated by Christian right groups and supported by the Ku Klux Klan. It becomes the 19th state to enact such a ban, hearkening images of the era when fully two-thirds of all states in the country banned inter-racial marriages. In their zeal to adopt the constitutional amendment, critics contend that the vague language might also bar some opposite sex marriages. Texas, which like many states recognizes common law marriages between opposite sex couples, may no more as a result of the amendment’s adoption according to some Texas legal scholars.

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