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07/13/2009

Maine 'pro-fams' love, love, love state law -- until they don't

by Jeremy Hooper

In order to embolden their unequal mindsets, various anti-gays have been citing Maine's Title 19-A §650 as irrefutable evidence that marriage should only be man-woman. 6A00D8341C503453Ef011278D6556228A4.Jpg-1CWA of Maine's Charla Bansley summed up the general mindset in a recent TEA party speech:

"Title 19 of Maine State Law says:, “The people of the State of Maine find that. . .the union of one man and one woman joined in traditional monogamous marriage is of inestimable value to society.” That means that the value of traditional marriage to Maine’s society is so great, so valuable that it cannot be counted or measured.

This spring, the UCLA School of Law issued a research study that concluded that Maine’s new same-sex marriage law will bring $8 million into Maine’s government coffers per year.

Hmmm…traditional marriage “inestimable value”; same-sex marriage “$8 million”; “inestimable value”; “$8 million.” It doesn’t seem like a hard choice to me.
"
State Director Charla Bansley Speaks at Augusta's July 4th Tea Party [CWA]

And you can find similar usage of Title 19-A §650 on the official site of the equality repeal effort, as well as in various letters to the editor.

It's a clever tactic to pit the rhetorical concept of 'inestimable' against concrete realities -- we'll give them that. But what are these anti-gay Mainers failing to mention? Well, that this now-overruled wording was only put into state law in 1997, when a wave of DOMA era anti-gayness was tarnishing various constitutions across this great nation. That's it -- it's 11 years old. It's not some legal gospel that's been guiding the Pine Tree State for all of time: It's a late 20th century misstep that is now being remedied by the state's newfound commitment to equality.

And who put this language into the law in the first place? Well, the state legislature, of course. That's right -- the body of lawmakers that these homo-hostile backers of marriage inequality are now routinely condemning as being activist-minded usurpers of the state constitution is the very same body that implemented the decades-old language that they are pushing as a definitive! Because apparently to these "pro-family" folks, it's totally kosher for a legislature to act without consulting "the people" when it comes to implementing bias, but it's completely out of line to act on a matter of basic civil fairness without first holding a majority up or down vote. How's that for fair?

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Your thoughts

Inestimable is also ambiguous enough as to infer infinitesimally small, or equally ambiguous as simply to be a place-holder until one does come up with an actual value, and in this case it would have to be verifiable and significantly more than $8million a year. But, when it comes to legal matters, I would put my inalienable right up against their inestimable value any day of the week.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 13, 2009 12:50:08 PM

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