This year the Maine Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a law that gives legal marriage recognition to partners of the same sex. A vigorous campaign to defeat this law by public referendum, largely funded by out-of-state churches and religious cults, is filling the media. Leading this charge is Bishop Honore Notting of the Apostolic Universal Church.

Following is a question-and-answer interview with the bishop conducted by Lucius Flatley for Current Publishing newspapers.

Q: Good morning, Excellency. Is this your first visit to Maine?

A: Yes. We think that Maine needs our guidance. You people are on the slippery slope. All the rain you’ve had this year is a punishment for this evil same-sex law.

Q: Have you done this in other states?

A: For a long time we were busy trying to prevent the use of birth control. After we lost that campaign, we turned our efforts to restricting the teaching of evolution in Texas and Mississippi. Recently we joined the Mormon Church in a successful effort to prevent same-sex marriage in California.

Q: Wasn’t it unusual for your group to be – excuse the term -“in bed” with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

A: We think those guys are officious and nutty creeps, but in our search for truth and justice, we accept allies wherever we can find them.

Q: So you consider this very much a religious issue?

A: What other kinds of issues are there?

Q: Didn’t the founders of this country hope to escape from a government that sets religious rules? A: They didn’t conceive of their children becoming homosexual, which same-sex marriage will certainly lead to.

Q: Is this country really a Christian nation?

A: Absolutely.

Q: How about Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists?

A: They are minorities.

Q: Don’t you feel that minorities should be protected?

A: Yes, except where the wishes of God are clear.

Q: Are speaking directly for God?

A: God doesn’t have a lot of free time these days, so we help him guide the unenlightened.

Q: Were there no homosexuals in the Bible?

A: Such behavior never occurred to those old Jews.

Q: Weren’t Ruth and Naomi, as well as David and Jonathan, believed to indulge in love for one another?

A: Not in the translation of the Bible that blessed and intelligent people use.

Q: What if two same-sex people who were not Christian wanted to marry – should the Bible pronouncements have any affect on them?

A: The Bible is the word of God.

Q: Your church opposes divorce. Would you support a law that forbids divorce to everyone?

A: Of course, if we could. We tried, but got shot down by Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich.

Q: Is there nothing about same-sex marriage you can support?

A: We approve of condom-free sex, and I guess that’s what they do.

Q: Until recently, many states forbade interracial marriage. Isn’t that restriction on civil rights the same as forbidding same sex marriage?

A: We think same-sex marriage is unsanitary.

Q: Why do you object to birth control?

A: Because it means sex for enjoyment and love.

Q: You mentioned two of your campaigns, anti-evolution and anti-birth control, that failed. Were there no others?

A: Yes. We feel that eating fish on Friday should be a law, but were unable to get very far with that idea in the Midwest.

Q: Are there any other issues you would like to see in a public referendum?

A: Yes. Forced abstinence among teenagers. That would be a crackerjack campaign because teens don’t vote.

Q: We note that the largest single donation to this veto fund in Maine comes from your church. What is the source of that money?

A: We have investments in real estate and hedge funds, plus reserves set aside for altar boy abuse.

Q: Are your child abuse problems all solved?

A: We consider instances of child abuse to have been an unfortunate leisure activity of priests who had little other entertainment. We have taken steps to transfer all of those men to locations where they will stay busy.

Q: You are closing schools and churches for lack of funds. Why is this issue worth such a large amount of money to you?

A: Purity in thought is what truly matters.

Q: Can same sex marriage partners enter heaven?

A: I should certainly hope not! Can you imagine Zachariah kissing Boaz – especially with those beards?

Q: How about a compromise – a civil marriage where all legal privileges and benefits are provided?

A: We would require inspection authority to insure that no sex occurs.

Q: Previous controls surrounding marriage have been concerned with offspring – genetic inbreeding or mixed races. Since same-sex marriages produce no offspring, how does this apply? A: The whole business is probably a secret communist conspiracy – and certainly un-American.

Rodney Quinn, who lives in Gorham, is a former Maine secretary of state. He can be reached at [email protected]