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10/07/2012

ME: Don Mendell back to play the faux victim; same Don Mendell who says we 'use children’s trusting nature to turn them against the natural law'

by Jeremy Hooper
  • Earlier this year, he called the pro-equality team a "bizarre movement that seeks to vilify anyone who disagrees with the notion that all urges and behaviors are equal."

  • In January he wrote off LGBT-inclusive sex education as "brainwashing," claiming that "making sure students 'know' that sexual orientation is the 'romantic attraction of individuals (whether same gender or not)” is Orwellian in its attempt to make vague and tangential any notion that strong mating and reproductive urges are involved that correspond to purpose-built body parts.'

  • In a 9/29/09 letter to the Bangor Daily News, he warned of those planning to reject the state's proposed marriage ban: "[A] no vote will give those who use children’s trusting nature to turn them against the natural law written in all people the power to silence the rest of us."

  • In a 12/01/08 letter to the Bangor Daily News, he referred to marriage equality as "a change that strikes to the heart of the Sacraments," denying that same-sex marriage is something that "our Lord would support."

  • There's also this 1/22/09 Bangor Daily News letter in which he warned of the "myriad of ramifications" that will supposedly accompany marriage equality.

And there were similar comments that go beyond just mere "support for traditional marriage" (e.g. e he intimated that marriage for gay couples will "ridicule tradition and belief in natural law"; he warned "thinking folks" of the "age-old ruse" of comparing homosexuality to race; etc.), but they have been pulled in the years since.

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Yet despite his aggressive delegitimization of LGBT people in the state of Maine, those hoping to stop civil marriage equality in the state will, for the second time in as many campaigns, use former guidance counselor Don Mendell as a supposed example of the "persecution" people can expect under marriage equality. The AP reports:

One of the two ads by Protect Marriage Maine features Donald Mendell of Palmyra, who was subject of a complaint with the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation after appearing on TV during a 2009 referendum in which the state’s gay marriage law was repealed.

The ad says that in states where same-sex marriage has been legalized, opponents like Mendell have been ‘‘fired, sued, fined and punished.’’

‘‘I was a successful school counselor in Maine for over 20 years — once nominated as teacher of the year. Yet when I supported traditional marriage, they tried to get me fired,’’ Mendell says in the 30-second television spot.

FULL: APNewsBreak: Gay marriage foes launch TV campaign [AP via Boston.com]

What's extra interesting, beyond Mendell's clear record stretching beyond just "traditional marriage," is the fact that Maine doesn't actually have marriage equality. That means that any perceived "victim" status Mr. Mendell attaches to his life and/or livelihood happened in the absence of legal marriage rights. So really, how the hell can Protect Marriage Maine now blame marriage equality for what supposedly happened to him there!? I mean, I know they think we gay folk are quite adept at using our ring fingers as weapons against our opposition's collective peace of mind. The fact of the matter, however, is that we've never even had the chance to work our super scary voodoo tricks in Maine. In fact, they used this very Don Mendell as a weapon against us to stop us from having these very rights! It takes some serious chutzpah to cite the very thing that you denied us as being the very thing that supposedly harmed you.

Chutzpah or, you know—egregious, aggressive, and ever-deceptive callousness. It is October. That is what we're used to from these campaigns.

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