November 25, 2012

Letters to the editor: Marriage story takes limited view

I was recently interviewed and my photo appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram's lead story on Nov. 11, titled "Hearing the ka-ching of gay wedding bells."

click image to enlarge

Emilie Sommer, a wedding photographer interviewed for a recent story about the impact of the passage of Question 1 on the wedding industry in Maine, says that the story and its headline reduced “our genuine joy” over the referendum’s approval “down to dollars and cents.”

2012 File Photo/Gregory Rec

I own and operate a wedding photography studio in Cumberland Foreside and have been in business since 2003.

When I received the telephone call to participate in the article, I was thrilled, as I have long been a supporter of same-sex marriage in Maine and was moved to tears when watching the returns come in, realizing that the Question 1 referendum had passed.

These sentiments and more were shared with Avery Yale Kamila, your reporter, who I adore and have had the chance to work with on several occasions.

I am a small-business owner, yes, but more than anything, the wedding business is about people first. Ours is about documenting the intimate intricacies between couples and families, unscripted moments and our beautiful landscape as the backdrop for these celebrations.

Never in a million years would I "bank on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine to provide a boost" to my business. Our business is thriving, and we are proud to live and work in this community.

I wish this article had shed more light on the collective excitement and support the wedding industry in Maine shares for this landmark legislation, instead of stripping our genuine joy down to dollars and cents. The tone and headline of this article were tacky and severely lacking a necessary and important human interest element.

Emilie Sommer

owner, emilie inc. photography

Cumberland Foreside

At mass meeting, citizens, officials to focus on change

Worried that nothing has changed in Congress? Take a look at No Labels, a movement of more than 500,000 Democrats, Republicans and independents who want our leaders to work together.

In December 2011, No Labels unveiled a 12-step plan to make Congress work.

One step was "No Budget, No Pay" legislation that has been introduced and is making its way through the House and Senate.

An equally important step is filibuster reform. Since the 2010 elections, a senator has only had to threaten a filibuster to keep a piece of legislation from making it to the floor to be discussed. The new Congress could change the rules to forbid this in January 2013.

No Labels is hosting a meeting on Jan. 14 in New York, to bring together 1,000 citizens, innovative leaders and elected officials to talk about solutions to our nation's big problems. They will announce two nationally known figures, a Republican and a Democrat, as leaders of the movement, as well as a Problem-Solvers Bloc of congressmen and congresswomen who have agreed to work together.

We need to support U.S. senators and representatives who have the courage to admit that if we want to keep the United States from becoming a fiscal basket case, we must both raise significant revenue and control entitlements. Not to do so is to jeopardize our prosperity and security and that of our children.

Consider joining us in New York. Why? Because a large gathering of citizens concerned enough to spend the time and money to travel in order to express dissatisfaction with a dysfunctional Congress will get the attention of politicians.

To learn more about the New York City meeting and to sign up, check out www.meetforamerica.com and www.nolabels.org.

Priscilla Markley

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