To the Editors:

As a straight middle-aged male, I strongly urge all Maine voters to vote "no" on Question 1 on November 3 to protect Maine equality.

As Franklin Roosevelt noted, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," but fear seems to be the main—indeed the only—weapon in the arsenal of those who urge a "yes" vote on Question 1.

Fear Number One: If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry and enjoy all the legal rights of other married couples, then churches of any and all faiths will be required to perform marriages contrary to their beliefs. That is not true. Repeat. Not true. No religious liberties will be violated in any way.

Fear Number Two: If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, then gay and lesbian marriage will be taught in the schools. Again, not true. The law allowing gays and lesbians to marry will have absolutely no effect on what teachers do or do not teach in the schools.

Fear Number Three: If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, then the institution of "traditional marriage" will suffer irreparable harm. How so? How has traditional marriage suffered in those states which now sanction gay/lesbian marriage? How would heterosexual marriage suffer in Maine—or any state—if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry?

Fear Number Four: If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, then more young people will "choose" the gay/lesbian lifestyle. Nonsense. People don't choose to be gay or lesbian. The law will free up young people—indeed, all people—to declare their lifelong commitments to their partners. That is not a bad thing. It is a basic human right!

Let's talk about the character of this great state. We Mainers tend to be independent cusses. You live your life. I'll live mine. To vote "no" on Question 1, then, is to recognize that individuals enjoy the right to make responsible choices for themselves. Granting gays and lesbians the legal rights of all couples does not cause harm to one single individual, organization, or religious institution in Maine.


David R. Treadwell, Jr. '64