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09/14/2009

Stand For Marriage Maine: The ties they wish to hide keep getting more binding!

by Jeremy Hooper

We've uncovered even more connections between Maine's official anti-equality campaign and Mike "gays cause bad weather/graffiti/economic crises" Heath, the unabashedly homo-hostile man who they are desperately pushing in the closet for the duration of the "so-called "people's veto." The latest: Well over the weekend, a man by the name of Tim Russell managed to place a typically untrue and offensive denunciation of marriage equality in the Portland Press Herald. You can read it at the link, but trust us -- if you follow this fight at all, you already know every last predictable claim:

There's lots of proof same-sex marriage will harm the rights of others [PPH]
(Or better yet, read Dirigo Blue's assessment of the piece)

So who is this Tim Russell, you ask? Well, the Press Herald lists his affiliations as lying with the The Maine Marriage Alliance and The Maine Jeremiah Project. You may well know that that latter organization is headed up by none other than Bob Emrich, the co-head honcho of the "Yes on 1" campaign. So that firmly puts Mr. Russell in the "Yes on 1" camp.

But what happens when you research Tim Russell a little further? Well, you will find that his ties with Mike Heath and the suddenly-fringe Maine Family Policy Council/Christian Civil League of Maine run very, very deep. For years, Mr. Russell served as the legislative liaision/lobbyist for the organization! In fact, Heath and company dedicated their 2006 banquet to a salutation of Mr. Russell's service:

Mike Heath then recognized Tim Russell for his three years of service with the League as its Legislative Liason. The banquet attendees gave Tim a standing ovation as he was asked to give a few comments on his tenure at the League. MassResistance founder Mr. Brian Camenker of Waltham, Massachusetts gave a testimonial to the work that the Christian ministry of League and its Executive Director, Mike Heath, are doing for the State of Maine and its traditional way of life.
2006 Christian Civic League of Maine Banquet [The Record]

Oh, and as for this Brian Camenker and his MassResistance group? Yea, well -- Brian's org is one of only eleven anti-gay outfits to be designated as a hate Mike-heathgroup by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As in: This group has gone above and beyond the pale when it comes to their anti-gay work, yet they still get feted by Heath/Rusell/et al (the same way the mainstream campaign feted Heath as recently as last February).

So let's recap: The "Yes on 1" campaign is desperately trying to hide their ties with Mike Heath and his organization, because they know that Heath and Co. are considered extreme. But everywhere we turn, we keep uncovering more and more ties between Heath and Stand For Marriage Maine. We don't even have to pull the thread to uncover these bonds -- a simple tug is all that is needed. You'd have to be completely disingenuous to say that this is all just coincidence. And if a member of the local press, you'd have to be willfully negligent to not question why the man who has been *THE* key figure in Maine anti-gay politics is being kept chained up in the cellar.

***

*EARLIER: Mike Heath and Stand For Marriage Maine: Bound in holy anti-gay matrimony [9/11]
'Yes on 1's most revelatory strategy: Forcing Mike Heath into the closet [9/8]
Mike Heath & Stand For Marriage Maine: Their bond is unbreakable! [8/24]
Audio: The incendiary fuel behind Maine's 'People's Veto' [6/02]
Heath's bar: Examining the verbal diarrhea of Maine's head anti-gay [5/21]

**More of why "Yes on 1" might want to hide Heath: In the piece currently running on his site, he refers to same-sex marriage fight as "the Masada of the culture wars," and says of the supposed stakes for his side: "Remove marriage, and the Culture War is over. America is over. The West is over."

Yes on 1 knows that this sort of over-the-top craziness will not sell as well as child-based fears, so they refuse to acknowledge that it's exactly what's been guiding their movement for so many years!

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Your thoughts

If marriage equality pulls down western society as Heath has alleged, why hasn't that happened in Canada, Spain, South Africa and Europe? Maybe because it's a lie? LYING LIAR?

Posted by: Mykelb | Sep 14, 2009 1:44:21 PM

I'm reminded of a few Bible verses that seem to illustrate where the sympathies of anti-gays in Maine lie:

"For everyone practicing evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, so that his works might not be rebuked. But the one doing the truth comes to the light, so that his works should be made manifest, that they have been worked in God." John 3:20-21

So ... what does that say about their work toward oppressing GLBTs if it means they have to hide their associations like this? What does it mean for people like Mr. Emrich who holds a rally that is only designed to spew lies in the "safety" of a right-wing echo chamber, while the supposedly "intolerant" No on 1 folks are seeking to have a dialogue and encourage open conversation?

Posted by: Chris Cool | Sep 14, 2009 2:15:42 PM

Anybody else tired of arguments that follow the pattern of "x leads to y, which leads to z, which brings about the END OF HUMANITY"? 'Cause I am.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 14, 2009 6:17:11 PM

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