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Michael Heath on sexual morality

Michael Heath, former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, gives a statement in Augusta on July 17 supporting Governor LePage's recent sexually explicit comments, for which the Governor later apologized.
Michael Heath, former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, gives a statement in Augusta on July 17 supporting Governor LePage's recent sexually explicit comments, for which the Governor later apologized. Buy Photo
Posted July 23, 2013, at 12:23 p.m.

I am no Sir Thomas More. I have not had my head cut off by the king for taking a stand against sexual immorality, at least not yet. But I do agree with one thing the 16th century English statesman More said. He compared the laws on sexual morality to trees that shelter a kingdom, and he asked where any man could stand upright when the last tree was cut down and the winds started to blow.

Now that transgenderism is accepted as normal, the last tree has been cut down, and the winds are starting to howl. A transvestite man, described as a man with a two days growth of beard, has been allowed into the shower area of a woman’s shelter. What this man’s sexual orientation is is anyone’s guess, but there is no debating that the women in the shelter feel afraid.

When a man in a dress is given all the rights of a woman, up to and including refuge in a woman’s shelter, we have gone too far in our pursuit of equality and fairness. During the debate over a 2005 sexual orientation law, I warned this would be the outcome. I took a forceful stand, saying that this would expose the innocent and the vulnerable to harm. In return, I was accused of having the wrong tone and style, of being too strident.

All this came to a head when the Maine Human Rights Commission proposed guidelines for transgender students in Maine schools. Under the proposed guidelines, boys identifying as female would be allowed access to the girls’ locker rooms, bathrooms and shower areas and would be allowed to play on girls’ sports teams. The Christian Civic League opposed the proposed guidelines vigorously and invited the public to attend a public meeting of the Maine Human Rights Commission on the subject. The meeting was also attended by now-Gov. Paul LePage, then the mayor of Waterville. Thanks to the public outcry, the proposed guidelines were shelved.

But the league did not hear the last of it. The public hearing before the Maine Human Rights Commission was opposed by a faction within the league who wanted a quieter and gentler tone, and this faction advised the public not to attend the meeting. This same faction went on to remove the acting administrator of the league and the staff writer who had worked hard to oppose the commission’s proposed guidelines. I had already left the league by that time.

But I remained at the center of the controversy because I insisted on discussing the issue as it should be discussed, not in legal and sociological terms, but in terms of right and wrong, which is after all the basis of God’s law. My July 17 press conference at the State House with Paul Madore was intended to do just that, to help the public focus on the harm done to society and to individuals by acts that are by their very nature harmful.

The debate over same-sex marriage in Maine has bogged down in an endless war of words over the benefits of same-sex marriage versus traditional marriage. But this is wrong-headed, and it is also perverse in its own way.

The issue that needs to be settled once and for all is whether or not society is harmed by sexual immorality. After the left has offered all its arguments in favor of premarital sex, adultery, divorce, homosexuality and abortion, and society has been lulled into believing that such things are good and acceptable, we are still left with the sight of a bearded man in a woman’s dress leering at women in a women’s shelter. That proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that normalizing perversion is wrong.

And so I must issue another warning. Unless we come to clarity regarding sexual immorality, and unless the people of Maine get their heart right with God on this matter (and that includes many Christian leaders), even worse is on its way.

Michael Heath is former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine.

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