Protect ME Equality Campaign Shot Ricochets, Hits Them In The Foot
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact: Scott K Fish, Communications Director
No on Question 1 Campaign Claims of “Fear-mongering, Lies and Distortions” Undercut By Their Own Legal Ally
Protect Maine Equality Can’t Shoot Straight – Campaign Shot Ricochets To Hit Themselves In The Foot
Portland, ME – In a misguided attempt to avoid discussion of legitimate issues raised by the proposed legalization of homosexual marriage, the No on Question 1 campaign has misfired, accusing legal scholars – including a prominent supporter of same-sex marriage – of engaging in “fear-mongering, lies and distortions.” The scholars are on record of pointing out the inherent legal conflicts between the rights of people who sincerely oppose homosexual marriage and the rights of same-sex ‘married’ couples if homosexual marriage is legalized.
“Unfortunately for Jesse Connolly and the No on 1 campaign, the shot they thought was aimed at us instead has ricocheted and is now squarely lodged in their own foot,” said Marc Mutty, Chairman of Stand For Marriage Maine, the official Yes on Question 1 campaign. “One of the legal scholars they dismiss as ‘liars’ includes Professor Douglas Laycock, a prominent scholar who supports homosexual marriage. In their desperation to avoid the legitimate discussion of serious issues raised by the legalization of homosexual marriage, the No on 1 campaign has wounded itself and done a great disservice to the people of Maine.”
Stand For Marriage Maine is running a television ad featuring Boston College Law School Professor Scott FitzGibbon discussing the consequences of legalizing homosexual marriage. Professor FitzGibbon references a letter sent to Governor Baldacci from four prominent legal scholars from:
* University of Notre Dame Law School;
* Washington and Lee University School of Law;
* University of Missouri; and
* The University of St. Thomas School of Law.
Responding to the commercial, No on 1 Campaign Manager sent an email saying, “Our opponents know that to defeat us, they need to flood the airwaves with fear-mongering, lies and distortion. They need to mislead the good people of Maine and change the subject by inventing so-called consequences of marriage equality.”
Unfortunately for Connelly, a prominent pro same-sex marriage legal scholar, Professor Douglas Laycock of the University of Michigan Law School, separately wrote Governor Baldacci endorsing the conclusions of the other scholars. “…[T]heir analysis of potential legal conflicts is accurate, and their proposed statutory language is necessary to legislation that is fair and just to all sides.” Professor Laycock went on to say, “I support same-sex marriage. I think the pending bill can be a great advance for human liberty. But careless or overly aggressive drafting could create a whole new set of problems for the religious liberty of those religious believers who cannot conscientiously participate in the new regime.”
Attached is Professor Laycock’s letter. The amendments that he and the other legal scholars suggested be incorporated in LD 1020 were not included in the legislation.
“The conflicts that LD 1020 creates for people of faith are real and serious concerns. Respected legal experts on both sides of the issue agree on this. It’s time for the No on 1 campaign to acknowledge these concerns and address them, rather than simply dismiss them with vitriolic campaign rhetoric. The legal scholars, including those who support same-sex marriage, are not part of our campaign. They have raised important issues that the people of Maine are entitled to know about. We intend to make sure that they do,” said Mutty.
Download PDF of Prof. Laycock’s Letter to Gov. Baldacci