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Tuesday, May 1, 2012: Same-sex marriage, Matt Dunlap and Bangor Public Library

Marriage referendum

I recently attended an informational meeting in Houlton for the EqualityMaine referendum to allow same-gender couples the same right to marry afforded to other consenting adults. Five different faith traditions were represented at the meeting. I am moved to know that I have friends and loved ones on both sides of this issue, which prompts me to write this letter to share my feelings.

I find it difficult to understand why this has become such an issue in Maine. Although I have heard from various sources that allowing same-gender marriage somehow threatens the institution of marriage, I just cannot see how that is so. My own marriage will be secure, independent of what my neighbors, be they gay or straight, may be doing in their homes. My marriage is strong and will not be harmed by allowing same-gender couples the same rights I enjoy.

Whether marriage is between a man and a woman or two men or two women, it is the institution itself which is important. Marriage signifies the covenant between two people to be faithful, loving and supportive through the legal contract of marriage. I use covenant and contract in the same sentence because, certainly, there can be covenant without contract and vice versa.

If you support the freedom to marry and EqualityMaine, please visit to volunteer your time or to make a generous donation in support of equal freedoms, rights and privileges for all Maine’s residents.

Mellissa Fuller


Dunlap for Senate

This election season, I’m supporting Matt Dunlap for U.S. Senate. Matt knows firsthand how important the rural economy is to Maine and has always supported farming, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and everything to do with the outdoor economy. He has been a steadfast supporter of the Second Amendment and is well versed in the issues facing rural and small-town Maine.

With Matt standing up for us in the U.S. Senate, we will have someone speaking up for us who doesn’t just get it, he lives it every day. Join me in supporting Matt Dunlap for U.S. Senate.

Tonya Shaw


EHMS selling out to Davita

I read the article about EMHS selling their dialysis services out to Davita, a Fortune 500 company. I counted three cases of corruption under investigation in this article. I also got a warning from a fellow patient safety activist from California about this company. She works with California officials as a patient advocate on dialysis-related harm, and she warns against Davita. Her own father died of infection contracted during his dialysis treatment. She is very passionate about dialysis patient safety.

Why would EMHS throw dialysis patients from our region to the wolves? This company certainly seems wolflike to me, from all appearances in this article.

We all know that money is the motivator in all things health care related, but we don’t need another disaster like the one at Acadia (CEO and OSHA investigation) a few years ago. EMHS should seriously rethink the sale of their dialysis “business” to Davita. High-quality care and patient safety needs to be the most important “business” of EMHS.

Please EMHS, rethink this business transaction. Remember that patients come first.

Kathy Day, RN

Patient safety activist


Heed the sage agreement

The Bangor Public Library allowed its property to be used by Occupy Bangor. It cost the city money. But that should not determine the allocations of funds it receives from the city. Instead, the city council should reread and heed the sage agreement made over 125 years ago between the library and the city. That city council recognized value. What a deal. What a steal. If that long-ago city council ended the library’s nonprofit status and it completely became a city department, would there even be a public library? Would its community educational services be reduced? How much more would the library cost if all its employees had the same salary scale and same health and retirement benefits as other city employees?

So a key question to ask is: How much has this library saved the city over the decades? Currently, it picks up 40 percent of its cost. What other city department does that? Decisions should be made on an objective, comparable basis. The library board must act as a board as it is legally required to do. I’m glad it wrestles with the question of free speech.

I also sympathize greatly with our city council. Gov. Paul LePage’s line-item veto has put great and unfair pressure on it. Moreover, the governor and state Legislature’s failure to make true structural changes in state government itself insures more devaluing of counties, cities and towns, nonprofit organizations and the people of Maine. I hope our library’s not one of the casualties.

Joe Pickering Jr.


Anti-Catholic article disturbing

I find the April 23 OpEd by Melinda Henneberger of The Washington Post disturbing on several levels. First, her blatantly anti-Catholic bias is all too transparent and is merely a continuation of the tiresome and politically correct anti-Christian rhetoric that frequently finds its way into the media.

Secondly, her assumptions are false. She states that “the nuns are the only morally uncompromised leaders poor Holy Mother Church has left.” There are many leaders of the Catholic church who are morally upstanding. It happens that the Catholic church is an institution made up of people, and people are imperfect. However, there is no higher incidence of scandal in the Catholic church than there is in any other institution. Furthermore, she postulates that the Vatican’s move was a retaliation against the nuns who capitulated to the Obama’s Health and Human Services mandate. Untrue.

The mandate strikes the heart of the issue of religious liberty of all Americans, not just Catholics. The church must be united at a critical time in history for all Americans, and this issue has nothing to do with being anti-feminist, as Ms. Henneberger claims. She cites the Vatican’s move to reign in the individuals who have taken an oath to represent the church, but who are now misrepresenting the official position of the church, as a reason why Catholics will be “moving beyond the church.” I would ask people like Ms. Henneberger this question: If the church does not have some fundamental teachings it considers basic truth, such as sanctity of all human life, than why bother calling it a church at all?

Sara Alexander


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