January 31

Letter to the editor: Portland lawmaker’s reaction to bill offends religious advocate

Speaking as a member of the Judiciary Committee for the Maine Legislature in a recent work session (Jan. 23), Rep. Matthew Moonen, D-Portland, called efforts to protect religious freedom “offensive.”

He was attacking L.D. 1428, which is a good bill, passed by Congress and 18 other states.

He said some “faith organizations had spent millions of dollars to deny gay couples the right to marry and now were ‘playing the victim’ by claiming that they had been discriminated against based on their religion.”

Even apart from the inaccuracies of his claim, there is a deeper warning in his statements.

If any other class of people had been publicly accused by a public official, we would be still hearing the screams from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and the Maine Democratic Party leaders. He displayed the very attitude that leads to widespread discrimination.

Rep. Moonen seemed to forget that he was part of spending even more millions of dollars on the same ballot question that was brought by his favorite organizations. His obvious bias and animosity led him to vote against reasonable legislation intended to protect every Maine citizen, regardless of their faith tradition.

By his own statements, he proved the need for L.D. 1428. Legislators do not have a right to protect only their friends. Maine deserves better.

The Rev. Bob Emrich

board chairman, Christian Civic League



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