On Nov. 3 voters in the Pine Tree State passed Question 1 by a margin of 53-47 percent. In so doing, Maine voters overturned a law signed by Democrat Gov. John Baldacci in May that had made such relationships legal.
Homosexual activists have long sought to characterize those who oppose "gay marriage" as intolerant, homophobic, Bible-thumping bigots. However, an attempt to depict Maine voters in such fashion simply will not work.
According to a Gallup survey, Maine is the third least religious state in America. By almost any measure, Maine would be considered a liberal bastion. But even in the left-leaning, irreligious Pine Tree State, "homosexual marriage" has been rejected.
The defeat of "gay marriage" is even more significant when you consider that homosexual activists and organizations pulled out all the stops in an effort to gain a victory at the ballot box in Maine.
Through Oct. 20, supporters of "gay marriage" raised $4 million to their opponents $2.5 million. They also had the support of the state's major newspapers and key political figures. Add to these pluses a well-organized political campaign with an estimated 8,000 volunteers, and proponents of "homosexual marriage" felt confident they would win.
Maine is not the first liberal state to reject "gay marriage." California has twice rejected it; Oregon has as well. And even though Washington state granted broad legal benefits to homosexual partnerships in the most recent election, it stopped short of granting them "marriage."
The rejection of "gay marriage" in Maine begs the question, "Why do Americans continue to reject it?" After all, homosexuals enjoy tremendous tolerance for their lifestyle in the United States and President Obama even recently signed legislation granting homosexuals special protections.
"Americans insist on choice," argue Josh Hammond and James Morrison in their book "The Stuff Americans Are Made Of." The authors write, "Our Constitution ... guarantees each American choice in speech, choice in what is written, choice of religion, choice in association, even choice in choosing or not choosing a weapon." They continue, "Finally, and most important, there is a choice in how we are governed, and by whom."
I think Hammond and Morrison have a point. Americans do like the freedom of choice and, by and large, they support that freedom for everyone. However, most would agree that not all choices are created equal.
While I may defend your right to choose, I don't have to like your choice. I certainly don't have to agree or approve of your choice. And I don't have to validate or celebrate a choice with which I disagree.
Given the fact that homosexuals permeate every segment of society, America has come to be quite tolerant toward those who have chosen to embrace homosexuality. Where America seems to be drawing a line is when homosexuals attempt to make society affirm, validate and celebrate homosexuality -- which is what, in effect, marriage does.
Americans are willing to tolerate someone's desire to remain homosexual. However, when homosexuals try to insist that society affirm, validate and celebrate homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy, Americans continue to say no.
A majority of Americans agree that all relationships are created equal. Even the secular liberal voters in Maine concur, which is why they voted.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
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