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May 26, 2009 Letters to the Editor

‘Public option’ alive

Invited by Organizing for America, a citizens’ group that backs President Obama, some 25 Hancock County residents recently gathered in Ellsworth. This was an issues-oriented group, not strictly a political one. Sure, Democrats were there, including me, but most of those present seemed independent.

In a poll about issues of most concern, health care topped the list. When asked how many individuals support a single-payer system, all but two raised their hands.

Single-payer? Isn’t that socialism? Well, no. People over 65 already have single-payer called Medicare. Why deny younger people the same benefits? We choose our own doctors, bureaucrats in Washington do not make our health care decisions and we enjoy dramatically lower charges because we don’t pay for million-dollar bonuses or that second BMW.

Single-payer is a clear choice, but we understand that term has been demonized by the health care industry and so is challenged in Congress. Fortunately, a good alternative exists. On May 12, the Senate Finance Committee began examining a plan that includes a “public option.”

That is, people could retain their private insurance, if they wish, but they also could choose a public plan — essentially, Medicare for all. Americans deserve a choice.

If you want real heath care reform, insist on a public insurance option. Contact Sens. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins or Rep. Mike Michaud. The health you preserve might be your own.

Kent Price


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Attacking gay marriage

Many opponents of gay marriage use religion and the Bible in their arguments. It saddens my partner and me to have the words of the Bible used to promote hatred and fear.

Those who use it to attack gay marriage claim the Bible promotes marriage as the union of “one man and one woman.” In fact, in much of the Bible, marriage is between one man and many women. Abraham, Jacob and Lamech all had multiple wives (Genesis chapters 4, 16, 25, 28 and 29). To follow all that the Bible endorses one would have to fight for polygamy, incest (Genesis 19), adultery (Genesis 30), and many other behaviors we no longer tolerate or believe to be God’s intent for us.

We hear gay marriage will destroy marriage as we know it. If my partner and I are married how does it affect you? I think a far greater threat would be television shows such as “The Bachelor” that exploit it.

We do not choose to be gay, any more than you choose to be straight; we simply are as God made us. All we want is to have the same civil rights that you have. We want to be able to visit our partners in hospitals if they are taken ill. We want to ensure that our children have two loving parents to protect them. We want to carry out our partner’s last wishes. We want what you want — the right to live and be recognized as a family.

Kelly Connell

Heidi Plante


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Reverse discrimination

It comes as no surprise that Maine’s population is the oldest and whitest. So what? I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with reverse discrimination.

Bruce Carter


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For himself, not GOP

I read with interest the April 25 letter by Stephen Martin of Amity regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. Mr. Martin obviously feels strongly, as do many Maine residents, about this controversial issue.

Although Mr. Martin serves as a member of the Republican State Committee, he speaks for himself on the same-sex issue. He does not speak for Maine’s Republican Party leadership. Readers of the BDN easily could have misunderstood his letter to believe that he wrote on behalf of the state party, and this letter should clarify that Mr. Martin speaks only for himself.

On the issue of same-sex marriage I have this brief comment. At a time when Maine’s working people are struggling to pay their bills, Maine Democrats choose to argue about gay marriage.

At a time when Maine’s families are loosing their jobs, our Democratic friends advocate for new taxes on home heating oil and gasoline.

Maine’s working people are now among the highest taxed in the nation.

Maine is a welfare state. People move here to gain access to our generous government programs.

Our Democratic politicians answer is to debate same-sex marriage and legislation that would allow noncitizens the right to vote.

For the record, the Republican Party platform supports marriage between one man and one woman.

Most of us, especially during these tough economic times, expect our elected officials to work to solve the important issues of the day.

In my opinion gay marriage doesn’t meet that criteria.

Charles Webster

Republican Party Chairman


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Fears unfounded

Here we go again. A local laundromat has declared that “big government” will take over our freedom if we allow our small minds to let it be so. Wow! What little faith in our fellow Americans.

I’m sick of the dire warnings that the Obama administration received even before entering office. I’ve heard everything from, “Get your Starbucks now because we won’t have any before long” to “you better purchase a gun because you won’t be able to buy them.” Sigh.

The truth of the matter is nobody likes big government. However, it is a necessity. There are two questions you must ask yourself when considering big government: How much freedom are you willing to give up when maintaining equality among your fellow Americans? How much freedom are you willing to surrender to main-tain order so chaos does not develop?

They are very important questions. American society is not headed toward a socialist democracy. We are a society deeply rooted in patriotism and if the Obama administration even tried a tactic such as a adopting socialist democracy there would be picketing in the streets, riots, and dare I say an impeachment.

Put your fretting and teleological views to the side and have no fear, my friend as I bless you when I say big government is a necessity in order to maintain equality and ultimately freedom for all.

Amber Benton


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