LINCOLNVILLE, Maine — A woman who said she wanted to protect gay youths was charged Wednesday with the unlawful removal of two political signs opposed to gay marriage.
Chief Ron Young of the Lincolnville Police Department said that he had been keeping a watchful eye out on the cluster of campaign signs placed at the intersection of routes 173 and 52 at the Petunia Pump, after a couple of signs for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney disappeared. So on Wednesday, when he saw a young man carrying two “No on 1” signs away from the intersection, he pulled up and asked what he was doing.
“He said, ‘I’m taking these signs down,’” Young said Thursday.
A citizen initiative on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot, Question 1 seeks to overturn Maine’s ban on same-sex marriage.
When the chief asked the teen if the signs belonged to him, he said no, but that he didn’t agree with the sentiment they were espousing. Then Rachael Hendrick, 37, of Lincolnville got out of a car parked nearby and said that she had told her nephew to take the signs down.
“She made the comment that kids who are homosexuals are committing suicide because of the signs,” Young said.
Hendrick initially was somewhat argumentative with the police chief, saying that the signs were placed on school property — they were not — and that children see them every day when going to the nearby elementary school on the school bus.
“She met me at the town office and I read the law to her,” Young said.
Hendrick took total responsibility for removing the two signs and received the civil summons for the infraction, which carries a maximum fine of $250. She is scheduled to appear at Belfast District Court in December, Young said.