Oct. 28 Letters to the Editor

Posted Oct. 27, 2009, at 7:15 p.m.

Historical perspective

I heard a story at a conference last month that has really stuck with me. A woman, probably in her 50s, shared that when she was in first grade her parents moved to a predominantly white neighborhood near Cincinnati, Ohio. She was one of two black students in her new classroom. The class had been given a drawing assignment and this young girl was very proud of her picture of a bunny rabbit. She forgot to write her name on her drawing so the teacher held it up and said, “Who drew this wonderful picture?” The little girl proudly raised her hand to take credit for her fine work. Her teacher said to her, “Put your hand down, you could not have drawn this picture because everyone knows that Negro children cannot draw this well.”

Of course this little girl was devastated, as was I, when I heard this story. In this day and age we are appalled that this kind of thinking is possible; yet 50 years ago it was common and acceptable. I really hope that 50 years from now we would be as shocked by the notion that only straight couples were allowed to get married. Appalled that we would deny our friends, neighbors and family members the same rights we have.

Vote no on Question 1.

Ellen Farnsworth

Whiting

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Pushing gay agenda

The gay rights movement wants us to believe that Question 1 is an issue of equality. Maine gave gay people equality in 2005, at which time many of them declared that this wasn’t about marriage. Yet, on the very eve of their victory, their leaders stated, “Marriage is next.”

There is a reason it is referred to as a movement. They do not plan to stop here. This is not about equality, it is about totality. When do we stop allowing the desires of the few to become the laws of the many? Yes, this is Maine where we tend to keep to ourselves and let others be. But there are people out there who want to change our state and its laws and then use us as an example to further their agenda at the federal level.

Come on Maine, let’s stand up and collectively say, “You can’t get theyah from heah.” Vote yes on 1 to protect marriage.

Kim Mercier

Cornville

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Yes on Question 6

The state is ignoring some basic needs of Maine people when we allow roads and bridges to deteriorate throughout rural Maine by not spending enough money on infrastructure. Businesses, towns and every resident in this state depend on a good road system to ship products, commute to work and transport families safely.

Some of the new programs the Legislature comes up with may be nice, but they don’t affect residents’ daily lives the way transportation investment does. The transportation bond will make our roads safer and thereby improve the quality of life for our residents.

Vote yes on Question 6, the transportation bond.

Tony DelMonaco

Bangor

Same-sex and schools

My 29-year experience as a math, science and health education teacher in Maine schools has given me every reason to doubt the assurances from Augusta that allowing homosexual marriage will not result in curriculum modifications. Currently, our schools claim to teach tolerance, meaning sympathy for or indulgence of the homosexual lifestyle. The reality is a policy of acceptance to the point of approval.

Likewise, the TV ads financed by the No on 1 group that feature homosexual couples with their adopted children are not about tolerance, but in fact are presented as a comparable, virtuous alternative to the traditional family. And that is how they will be presented in future public school curriculums if homosexual marriage in Maine becomes a reality. It would be naive to think otherwise.

Laurence Esancy

Rockland

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One- two punch

If Questions 2 and 4 pass, it will be a one-two punch against our roads.

Question 2, the Excise Tax Initiative, will cut excise tax money received by towns by an estimated 40 percent. (All excise tax money goes to the towns). Traditionally, towns use this money for their roads. If the measure passes, they will be cutting road maintenance. It’s true, towns can choose, instead, to make cuts somewhere else, or raise taxes; my guess is that they will do all three.

Question 4, TABOR II, imposes draconian spending limits on the towns and the state. The limits do not sound draconian: government will be allowed to raise spending by the sum on inflation and population growth. One catch is in the timing: If Question 4 passes, Fiscal Year 2010 will be the first base year, and spending in FY 2010 has already been drastically cut by $500 million. Among other things, the Legislature canceled all repaving projects for FY 2010. That level of spending will be locked in, going forward.

So, after you’ve paid for a couple of ball joints, tie rod ends, engine mounts and a muffler, what’s going to be left of your tax savings?

Rufus Wanning

Orland

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Smoke screen

If marijuana is medicine, then tobacco is health food.

Ray Perkins

Waldoboro

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Chicken Little returns

Afraid of marriage equality? Once again, the far right uses fear tactics in an attempt to win their cause. If Chicken Little repeats the message enough the people will believe it. We are told by Chicken Little that if same-sex marriage is allowed in Maine, teachers will use the classroom to brainwash students.

Maine’s Attorney General has said this isn’t true. It’s nowhere in the state curriculum. Public schools do not teach any type of marriage curriculum.

We are also told that if gay marriage is allowed it will threaten the institution of marriage, yet Massachusetts has allowed it for years and the institution of marriage there is as strong as ever. Canada, Spain, Belgium, South Africa and the Netherlands, just to name a few, also have allowed same-sex marriage for years. There is no evidence that those nations have used the classroom to proselytize same-sex marriage nor have those countries seen a threat to the status of heterosexual marriage.

Ask yourself, does “liberty and justice for all” really exist for all Americans? Do the rights to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” belong to everyone? Is “equal protection under the law” truly applied to all Americans?

Chicken Little, despite all of its scary claims, cannot fool Maine people; they will realize that this is really a matter of civil rights. A significant right, marriage equality, was granted by the state of Maine to same-sex couples. Voting no on Question 1 will protect that right.

Sylvia Tapley

Penobscot

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