Nice Work, Dick

We was too late.  Rev. Dick saw the light.Ladies and gentlemen, the Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland, Me., bringing the smackdown.


[subtle, no?  –Ed.]

A group of self-described Catholics who have chosen to dissent publicly from established Catholic doctrine on the nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman recently published a paid political ad entitled “Statement of Conscience by Maine Catholics Regarding Marriage Equality.”

The evidence for their dissent runs through the statement and is crystallized in the following sentence: “…we find disturbing any suggestion that formal Church teaching obligates all Catholics to oppose marriage equality.”

In contrast, please let your conscience be formed by these clear and authoritative words of Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger): “In those situations where homosexual unions … have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.” (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, July 2003)

A Catholic whose conscience has been properly formed by Scripture and the teachings of the Catholic Church cannot support same sex marriage. Please vote YES on question 1.

Is the correct answer —

(A) “Please send your corporation’s Form 1120-X, together with your long-overdue tax payment, to Internal Revenue Service, Ogden UT 84201-0012.”

(B) “As for forming your conscience about that sexual abuse stuff, and rumors about cover-ups, that you keep hearing about in the media, we ask you to keep an open mind.  We will fully address this issue with you soon.  Eventually.  Promise.”


The ad battle has been interesting. The No on One folk have run an extremely sharp, sophisticated campaign focused on fairness, love and rational decision making. The Yes on One side has run an appalling campaign wherein nearly all ads do not mention “marriage” in a meaningful way, focusing instead on “if you vote No, students will be taught “gayness” in public schools”. They were *so* off-putting that even so of those generally opposed to gay marriage were pushed to the “no” side. Interestingly, they tempered it in the last week, with an ad that basically said “civil unions are a good thing, we do not need to destroy traditional marriage” (ignoring, of course, the silliness of the statement).

The catholic issue has been interesting too…there have been groups of catholics protesting outside the major churches most weekends. The media has been all over it…in large part because the church has helped make the issue “better” by FIRING church workers/lay clergy who have come out in favor…turning a letter of support that would get no news coverage into a nightly news leads.

I’m very hopeful that Maine will be the first state to have the voters support the rational decision. Finger’s crossed until this evening.

clearly Joseph (Nazi Youth) Ratzinger is the final word.
with a name like Ratzinger its easy to see why he wanted to change his name to Benedict.

even though I think Pope Ratzinger would have been just about perfect.

Hey, the priests weren’t marrying those little boys.

@LuxMentis: I was wondering if our Portland of the East correspondent would be weighing in on this. I’m glad to hear that the No on 1 folks learned the lessons from the No on 8 campaign.

I worked in Maine ten years ago on a fight against a ballot initiative (also #1, oddly enough) that was ostensibly going to outlaw so-called (i.e. this is not a medical term) “partial-birth abortions.” But the initiative was so poorly written that it would have outlawed all abortions after the first trimester. The No on 1 campaign was up against the Catholic Church too, but our side’s phrasing was along the lines of “Mainers, read the initiative for yourself, don’t be fooled or distracted” as of course the other side was running inflammatory or over the top ads like it sounds like they’re doing this year again, and that Down East libertarian streak came through for us, and our side won 55-45, much greater margin than forecasted.

I’m much more worried about Washington State’s #71 than Maine’s #1. There’s a whole lot more to that state than just Seattle, that’s for sure.

Has anybody gone after the Mormons given what they did in CA? They should lose that tax exemption immediatement.

poor guy.
if he had only won he could have had health coverage and everyone else could have been fucked.
sucks when the chickens come home to roost.

The Catholic Church: you can’t get married if you’re gay, but can we interest you in a job as a priest?

@SanFranLefty: What gets me on 71 that it’s a referendum on civil unions, to which some of the opposite-only marriage folks argue say that it’s OK. These people won’t be satisfied until all of the Gheys and teh Unmarrieds have to form limited liability corporations for some semblance of union.

And may I say that I am fucking pissed off at what happened to a friend of mine, whose partner was hospitalized this past week for heart problems. Even though he had durable power of attorney for health care — with document in hand — he was denied visitation rights until he got into a screaming match with a sassy ER nurse who threatened to call security on him until another nurse intervened.

Of course, the problem was that he was at a Catholic hospital — well known for great cardiac procedures — but still, a Catholic hospital. The positive benefit is that it was close after my friend’s partner had multiple fainting spells, fell on furniture, and had a BP of 60/35 at one point.

Well of course he’s right. As far as the Catholic church is concerned.

However (the scraping sound is me dragging out the soapbox again) marriage is not nor has it ever been a religious sacrament. Various churches co-opted it, it’s true, but it is a civil ceremony; one marries under license from the state which one then takes to one’s church. Or not. “Traditional marriage”, as we know it, has been around for about 100 years. Do we remember why the bride’s father walks her down the aisle? Hmm? Because a few hundred years ago the bride’s father made the deal with the groom (settle down at the back or you’ll get my ruler across your knuckles. No, you may not be excused Smith Minor. I know why you want to go to the bog, you filthy little wanker), the bride was a bonus.

Not that I can bring myself to care because it’s all meaningless. Nothing means anything without a federal law. I found it quite restful while we were living through the recent birther/tenther/deather craze to get a rest from the ‘gay marriage debate’.

The Ref 71 BS in Washington is so incredibly frustrating. We had decent laws. Some uppity jerks in Eastern Washington (I swear, if we split into two states along the Cascades, it would make everyone happy until the E. folks realized how fucked they are without Seattle’s flow of sweet sweet dollars — but I digress) decided that, since we have a citizen referendum process, they’d put those decent new laws to a vote, because of course real people didn’t make the new laws, it was them goddamn politicians.

Enter the fraudulent and high-pressure (and by anecdotal evidence, misleading) signature-gathering phase, and now we have yet another rural East vs. urban/suburban West contest. Everyone I know is voting for the decent new laws, but I’m just as sure that everyone east of the mountains (and most places outside the urban core of Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia) is voting against them. It’s gonna be a close vote, unless the hip urban voters succumb to their apathy, which is an extremely likely outcome.


@Benedick: I’m related by marriage to a federal judge, and fervently hope that he’s still on the bench whenever I get around to tying the knot, though a justice of the peace would do in a pinch.

IanJ: Roughly speaking, then, yr rights are down to whether Vancouver votes the right way. Lovely.

@IanJ: That’s what pisses me off about voters and local and state elections. There is SOOO much at stake at home to not care about it and have turnouts of only 10-35%. Not to say that national elections don’t matter, but still.

I have goaded everyone I know who is a resident of my municipality to vote today, including the BF — I wasn’t sure he was going to wake up in time to vote AND make it to work on time.

rptrcub: And, usually, those who do turn out in off-off-years have a high concentration of stupid.

@blogenfreude: I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning.

@rptrcub: Agreed. I’ve voted in every election I’ve known about since I turned 18 (there were a few I missed in college due to having failed to sign up for absentee ballots). I wish I was a more informed voter sometimes, but I think I usually vote in the right direction.

For those keeping score at home, that means I voted at least three times for the monorail/transit system (along with a majority of other voters in the Seattle area) which died an ignominious death after the fourth or fifth such vote for it. And I believe I voted against the second new stadium (and we’re still paying off the old, and now-demolished King Dome; thanks legislature!) along with a majority of Seattle area voters — guess how many new stadia we have? If you guessed two, you’d be right.

@IanJ: “if we split into two states along the Cascades, it would make everyone happy until the E. folks realized how fucked they are without Seattle’s flow of sweet sweet dollars” — this is why we call it “Dumbfuckistan.”

@Dodgerblue: @IanJ: Could we just give everything east of the Cascades to Idaho, please?
@rptrcub: Same thing happened at the state med center in Oregon to someone who was a “registered domestic partner”, in direct violation of Oregon state law, because of the nurse’s personal convictions. Last I heard, she’d been fired and the hospital was groveling not to be sued. Fortunately, the man’s partner survived, but how do you get past the trauma and the fear of it happening again?
@blogenfreude: @SanFranLefty: Welcome to the jungle, douchebag.

@mellbell: We would have gone the judge route but they were still in shock in Ontario so we got a Unitarian minister which was the next best thing. The OH, who has read a contract or two in his time, refused to sign the husband/wife language in the license application and had it amended to, I think, ‘Spouse’ 1 and 2. They couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful.

@mellbell: @Benedick: I like the French procedure–in place since the revolution, I believe–of requiring everyone to be married in the mayor’s office, and making the church wedding something you can have if you want, but it’s not the official ceremony.

@chicago bureau: not so much Vancouver. SW Washington, while not exactly a liberal enclave, isn’t quite so virulent as the Eastern part of the state.

@Mistress Cynica: It isn’t here either. But it’s not stressed as much as it is by Les Franche.

I still think it’s funny that the communist colony of Plymouth refused to conduct marriage ceremonies in the church.

NOOZ: Politico reports a possible turnout of over 50% in Maine.

The knowledgeable (WHEEEEE!) Ben Smith suggests that this is good for Team No. Me? I’m dreading a total whitewash of a loss — the question is who is turning out the mass of voters. (Notable: the colleges in Maine are (a) liberal and (b) for the most part very, very small.)

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