To the Editor:

So here we are coming up on another referendum on same-sex marriage and once again we are finding pressure on Maine voters from out-ofstate money and the Catholic Church.

It is illegal for an employer to tell employees they have to vote a certain way, yet the Archbishop of New Jersey has said Catholics who support same-sex marriage should no longer take communion.

I know the Constitution does not preclude that, yet certainly social justice, ethics and moral decency should.

Does the Catholic Church stop pedophile priests from taking or serving communion?

Fortunately, the ballot box is secret and even the bishop can’t look in there, so Catholics may and should vote their conscience, not the bishop’s.

I have no problem with how any church administers their sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples. That is the church’s prerogative. But to foist one church’s beliefs on all other churches, as well as the civil authorities, is an egregious wrong.

Equality under the law is one of the basic tenants of our country and we, as a people, have struggled to get there one group at a time. First, equality for religions, then non-Caucasians, then women, and now gays and lesbians.

Each struggle has become less violent and shorter in duration as we have learned that equality for all does not threaten anyone.

I am a Republican, straight, married, retired member of the military, and same-sex marriage does not threaten or lessen my marriage, spirituality or community in the slightest.

I will vote “yes” on Question 1 and hope to welcome committed couples throughout our community regardless of their composition.

Vote your conscience, not what the unnamed donors who won’t stand up and be accountable for their donations try to sway you to vote.

Jim Bridge