Maine citizens?including hundreds of voters from this campus?will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on Question 1, a proposal that would repeal Maine's law protecting individuals against discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Maine's decision on November 8 will send a message to individuals throughout the state. We hope that Maine will choose to say that it is okay to thrive as who you are.

A vote in favor of this referendum would go against the American ideal of equality. Our society is strongest when we approach our ideals. At Bowdoin, and public and private institutions throughout Maine, we have already seen how a community edges closer this ideal when it chooses to expand its definition of equality?and not limit it.

It may be easy to forget the difficulty some of our fellow students face, and fall into the trap of believing the scare tactics used by the proponents of Question 1.

Many such arguments surrounding Question 1 have been thoroughly discussed in these pages in recent weeks. However, it is important to stay focused on the referendum question itself. The choice we will make on Tuesday is not about maximizing profits; in fact, corporations from coast to coast have made the choice to adopt these policies. It is certainly not about gay marriage. A "Yes" vote for Question 1 is about revoking a law that provides equal protection for Maine's citizens. It would be a step backward from the way life in Maine should be.

Society is best off when it strives for equality of opportunity. Opposing Question 1 tells Maine's citizens that while we cannot guarantee that you will succeed, we can guarantee that your sexual orientation will not be used to deny you that opportunity. We urge a "No" vote on Question 1.

The editorials represent the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient?s editorial board. The editorial board consists of the editors-in-chief and the managing editor.