Maine stood up for LGBTQ youth

Maine’s Senate demonstrated a commitment to protecting LGBTQ youth from the harmful practice of conversion therapy when they voted against Rep. Susan Austin’s amendment to LD 912, An Act To Clarify the Scope of Practice of Certain Licensed Professionals Regarding Conversion Therapy, introduced by Rep. Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford.” Austin’s amendment claimed that “talk therapy is not considered conversion therapy.”

Any therapy that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender, whether through physical tactics or talk therapy, is conversion therapy. Talk therapy has the potential to cause shame, guilt, confusion and decreased self-esteem, with increased depression, anxiety and risk of self-harm. LGBTQ youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide.

LGBTQ is not listed as an illness anywhere in the DSM-5, the manual used by medical professionals to diagnose patients. In fact, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, states: “Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation are effective, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.”

I have faith that the majority of our senators will continue to vote to protect one of our most vulnerable populations in Maine.

Libby Arsenault

Fulford for Congress

The number of candidates running for Congress this year is overwhelming, but one candidate stands out as the best choice for Maine: Jonathan Fulford.

When I met Fulford, I knew right away that he wasn’t running for office for the power or money that comes along with the position. Talking to him about the issues affecting the working class is like talking to your neighbor. He personally knows that health insurance costs too much and covers too little. He sees that climate change is warming our waters, which will greatly impact our fishing and lobster industries. And, most of all, Fulford understands that too many hardworking Mainers aren’t earning a livable wage. He recognizes these working-class problems because he’s part of the working class.

To solve these problems, Fulford supports universal health care, investment in opioid addiction prevention, affordable clean energy, and getting rid of tax cuts for the richest and using that money to invest in the middle class. Fulford would also focus on connecting the 2nd Congressional District with high-speed broadband to help create a more even playing field between urban and rural areas in the modern economy.

Having Fulford as the Democratic candidate for Congress would present a sharp contrast to Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s corporate PAC-funded campaign. Fulford will never hide from his constituents. He knocked on more than 11,000 doors when he ran for state Senate and that openness will continue if he is elected to Congress.

I urge you to vote for Fulford on June 12.

Kyle Leathers
East Millinocket

A complex web

News that Fox News’ talk show host Sean Hannity also got advice from President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was so important that it made the front page of the April 17 BDN. But the fact that lawyer Robert Balin, who argued the case to have Hannity’s name made public, also represents The New York Times and CNN are so inconsequential that those two clients were never mentioned in the article.

The only mention of Balin’s other clients was, “Robert Balin, a lawyer for five news organizations including the Associated Press.” It’s not worth reporting that the lawyer arguing to reveal information that may potentially damage the credibility of a conservative news show host is also legal counsel for a far-left-leaning news network (CNN) and newspaper that would both celebrate damage to Hannity’s reputation?

Additionally, nowhere does the article report that Judge Kimba Wood, who ruled that Hannity’s name could be made public, also officiated at the 2013 wedding ceremony of George Soros and Tamiko Bolton. Wood was also considered for attorney general by President Bill Clinton.

Logically, one can assume that Wood was not randomly chosen to officiate at left-wing billionaire Soros’s wedding, but actually had some personal connection to Soros or his bride. Further, any connection to the name Clinton should raise all kinds of red flags to journalists actually interested in reporting all sides of a story.

Once again, the BDN prints an Associated Press article that pushes its liberal, Trump-destroying agenda and neglects the rest of the story.

Lynn Weston

Poliquin’s attack on the hungry

I often wonder what Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s supporters have to say about him, and I don’t mean his supporters that live in the 2nd Congressional District. I mean his real supporters. The ones funding his campaign.

For example, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, that recently announced that it was opening an office in Maine to support Poliquin’s run for re-election. They are going to spend a lot of money trying to make Poliquin appear likable. This is going to be hard, especially given that Poliquin’s twisted legislative proposal, the Food Stamp Integrity Act, is included in the proposed farm bill, which if passed will make it harder for poor people to put food on their tables.

Maine is now the seventh hungriest state in the nation and this is due in part to the Republican-led cuts to SNAP. Now Poliquin wants to bring these cuts nationwide. Contrary to Poliquin’s assessment of the situation, poor people are not the cause of society’s problems, they are the victims. Taking away food from the hungry is a monstrous act, as is giving billions of dollars to the ultra-wealthy and corporations with his vote for the tax bill.

It’s time for our elected representatives to stand up for American families and the programs they depend on, instead of helping the rich get richer. Please remember the votes Poliquin has made that hurt American families, and urge Sen. Susan Collins to oppose and cuts or restrictions to SNAP when the proposals make their way to the Senate.

Carin Dunay
South Portland