I wish Rep. Heather Sirocki of Scarborough would explain her decision to garner support for her bill to end female genital mutilation not just from the local (Norway, Maine) but also the national office of ACT for America.

I saw her Facebook post about the news conference launching L.D. 1819 and told her that, while I agree that female genital mutilation is wrong and should be outlawed, I was disappointed in her choice to work with a group that openly discriminates against Muslims, decries people of Islamic faith as un-American and pushes for anti-Muslim legislation across the country.

Since there are already severe penalties in the U.S. and Maine that cover female genital mutilation, the bill is redundant. Thinking maybe she didn’t know the group’s track record, I asked Rep. Sirocki to come out and admonish the group for their discriminatory rhetoric, but her response was that I just don’t understand.

Rather than continue a dialogue on Facebook, where her followers were quick to call me a separatist and a hater (neither of which is true), I would appreciate Rep. Sirocki responding publicly to inform us if she feels that hate groups have a place in Maine or if she has any regret for working with this group.

To quote Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Rep. Sirocki’s Facebook friends chose to question my sanity, character, intelligence and integrity. To them: I believe that all people – whatever their color, faith, race or gender – are worthy, and deserve the same rights that Rep. Sirocki, her followers and I all do. I will speak up against hate, and I hope Rep. Sirocki will, too.

Barbara Price

Scarborough