Gov. LePage’s denunciation of the Maine Education Association for endorsing same-sex marriage is simply another way to attack the union and teachers.

This is not surprising on the surface, as he has been against both unions and teachers since Day One. However, the fact that he does not seem to think this has anything to do with educating our children shows a complete lack of knowledge of a problem he himself speaks so strongly against — bullying.

The fact is that one of the main reasons that students are bullied and harassed is because they are perceived as “different” in some way from their peers. And for many, that difference is because they are, or are considered to be, gay. While we have come a long way toward reducing this prejudice, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are still slandered on a regular basis and many face violence in school and in their communities.

Thus some go to school in fear, psychologically tormented, and often at their own peril. And yes, this does impact learning. The MEA’s position is directed toward equal marriage, but it is really about simple respect for each other as humans. It is about respecting others’ rights in our communities. How can we ever seek to address bullying in our schools when outside our schools we continue to allow for and institutionalize the very prejudice that is at its root?

Malory Otteson Shaughnessy

Candidate for House District 115 seat

Portland

 

Gov. Paul LePage is often his own worst enemy, but there is likely a degree of truth in his recent criticism of the Maine Education Association for its endorsement of gay marriage.

MEA Executive Director Rob Walker’s response seemed to confirm that his union’s interests lie more in political power than in improving the education of our children. Unions have traditionally supported professional development by sponsoring apprenticeship programs. By denying that his union should have a significant role in teacher improvement, Walker confirms that his priority is primarily to protect jobs, not to improve the quality of teaching.

In any case, no matter what one believes about the morality of same-sex marriage, the Maine teachers union’s members should be mortified that their leadership would call for a unanimous voice vote on the matter, without debate, and call it democratic. Presented in that way, it would take an extraordinary amount of courage for anyone to state an opposing view.

In this case the so-called “democratic” voice vote was a thinly disguised coercive mechanism for Rob Walker and his board to get the answer they wanted. Shame!

John C. Frothingham

Brunswick

Summers’ qualities come through in primary race

“Why do we have primaries?” That is the question that my senior year high school civics teacher used to ask us; he also was the high school varsity football coach.

Well, Maine’s primaries are held on June 12, and I am asking people to show their support for Maine’s secretary of state, Charlie Summers. Charlie hopes to earn the Republican nomination and win in November to become our next U.S. senator.

Charlie has a stellar background that will make him a senator all Mainers can be proud of.

Primaries are a good way to get to know your favorite candidate and who you think will best serve you in the elective office.

Do we really pay attention to negative campaigning? Maybe it is necessary to get one’s point across.

Charlie Summers is well-focused and is equally prepared and ready for his seat in the U.S. Senate. So please vote in the June 12 primary, and vote in November, too.

Steve Haskell

South Portland

 

Poliquin sees the threat from debt, and can fight it

My wife and I welcomed our first grandchild into the world this spring. Before the little guy opened his eyes for the first time, he owed $50,000. If we continue on our current trend, before he can utter his first words of protest he will owe much more.

I don’t even want to think of the unfunded obligations that we have put on his generation. Our fiscal house is on fire. No other issue is a greater threat to liberty and the American way of life than out-of-control spending and our national debt. We need to send someone to Washington, D.C., who will have a focus on putting that fire out. The grass may need trimming, new flower gardens might be nice, the shutters need a little paint, but the house is on fire!

Bruce Poliquin is a man who sees this threat. He has the talent, energy, experience and record of success in tackling the tough issues responsible for this fiscal crisis. Bruce won’t be one to cross the aisle to help them throw gasoline on the fire. He will go there to convince them to stop.

We need Bruce Poliquin in Washington. We owe it to Maine, to America and to my little grandson to help put the fire out.

Eric Low

Hollis

 

Falmouth voters have good choices in Farber, Mahoney

When you consider how to vote in the Falmouth Town Council election, think about Community Park, Blackstrap Hill Preserve and the energy-saving new elementary school.

These projects were conceived and approved in part by forward-thinking councilors who had a long-range vision for our town.

I’m supporting Karen Farber and Sean Mahoney because, based on my experience working with them, I know they will follow in the steps of former councilors who recognized what Falmouth could be and grasped opportunities when they arose.

Fiscally responsible, both will be cautious with your money.

Experienced in long-range planning, they will make decisions that will improve our community, making it more financially viable for businesses and more functional for residents.

They are committed to meeting the needs of all our residents, recognizing the diversity of our population.

Karen and Sean support:

The Metro bus.

Thoughtful planning for Route 1 commercial development that is business- and pedestrian-friendly.

• Exploring public and private partnerships, including a community center with Oceanview.

They deserve your vote.

Bonny Rodden

Falmouth town councilor

Falmouth