As the campaign in Maine enters the home stretch, our skeevy opponents have unleashed yet another ad claiming that unless marriage equality is overturned, same-sex marriage will be “pushed” on elementary school children.
Our side has responded with calm, rebutting the attacks with facts, statements from authoritative figures, and appeals to higher values. Sadly, that approach has been condemned by well-respected figures in our community, including Andrew Sullivan, Mike Tidmus, the Box Turtle Bulletin and the Bay Area Reporter.
Condemned? Hardly. I think there’s a big difference between condemnation and constructive criticism. That said, I do remain concerned that Protect Marriage Equality is playing defense rather than controlling the parameters of debate. Stand for Marriage Maine’s Frank Schubert has made Question 1 not about marriage equality, but about education. We have the opportunity to turn the election about something else, and that’s fairness. Not just fairness for LGBT families, which I believe most voters really don’t have a vested interest in (like they do with education). But fairness in terms of the caliber of debate carried out by our opponents. Nobody likes to be duped, and that’s exactly what Stand for Marriage Maine is trying to do. That, and buy an election outright. Is that what Mainers really want?
I plan on returning to this topic more fully in a later post, hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday. On the positive side, let me repeat this: Protect Maine Equality is doing an amazing job with their grass-roots effort, perhaps the best I’ve seen yet. So read Matt’s piece and donate or volunteer today. Remember, the rule is still in effect: people who sit on the sidelines have no right to criticize.