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Maine’s "Same Sex Marriage" Law "Discriminates" Against Polygamy

Date: May 07, 2009
Word Count: 900 words
Cross-Reference: "same sex marriage," Maine, "discrimination"

Contrary to claims by homosexuals, Maine's new "Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage" does no such thing. By the same terms of its supporters, the new law openly "discriminates" against consenting adult polygamists.

On   May   6,   2009,   the   State   of   Maine   became   the   fifth   U.S.   State   to   codify   the   legal   construct   of   "same   sex   marriage."     Supporters   labeled   the   passage   of   the   new   law   as   a   "civil   rights   victory,"   a   matter   of   "fairness   and   equality"   for   "all"   as   well   as   "equal   protection   under   the   law."     The   new   law   was   titled,   "L.D.   1020,   An   Act   To   End   Discrimination   in   Civil   Marriage   and   Affirm   Religious   Freedom."     But   the   Act,   itself,   very   specifically   does   "discriminate"   -   against   consenting   adult   polygamists. 
On   April   22,   2009,   up   to   4,000   Maine   citizens   attended   the   Public   Hearing   at   the   Augusta   Civic   Center.       As   expected,   marriage   controllers   opposed   the   law,   wanting   to   continue   special   rights   only   for   those   who   choose   "one   man,   one   woman."     Homosexuals   and   supporters   wanted   to   further   expand   the   receipt   of   those   special   rights   to   those   who   choose   "same   sex   marriage"   too. 
Mark   Henkel,   speaking   as   the   National   Polygamy   Advocate   and   as   a   Maine   citizen,   also   made   a   presentation   at   the   Hearing   -   as   "Neither   For   Nor   Against."     When   he   stood   up   to   speak,   the   entire   room   immediately   hushed,   except   for   the   overwhelming   clicking   sound   of   numerous   media   cameras   on   him.       He   noted   that   both   homosexuals   and   marriage   controllers   re-define   marriage.     Factually,   polygamy   has   always   been   included   in   the   definition.     Henkel   offered   the   polygamy   rights   win-win   solution   to   end   the   government   marriage   debate,   the   abolition   of   all   big   government   marriage   control   for   unrelated   consenting   adults.     When   he   had   finished,   many   people   approached   him,   expressing   their   surprise   and   support   for   the   alternative   proposal.     Despite   the   crush   of   photography,   the   major   Maine   media   chose   only   to   "sell"   L.D.   1020   to   persuade   their   audiences. 
Over   the   subsequent   two   weeks,   the   bill   was   rushed   through   the   Legislature   and   was   immediately   signed   by   Governor   Baldacci   on   May   6th   –   extremely   quickly,   indeed. 
Previously   opposing   "gay   marriage"   in   favor   of   civil   unions,   the   Governor   explained,   "I   have   come   to   believe   that   this   is   a   question   of   fairness   and   of   equal   protection   under   the   law…     Under   the   Constitution,   we   are   all   the   same.     We   are   supposed   to   make   sure   we   are   all   protected   from   discrimination,   regardless   of   the   differences   between   us.   My   responsibility,   that   I   swore   an   oath   to   do,   is   that   I'm   there   for   everybody." 
Homosexual   political   activists,   identifying   themselves   as   fighting   for   the   "civil   rights"   of   the   "gay,   lesbian,   bisexual,   and   transgendered"   (GLBT)   community,   rejoiced   in   the   new   statute.       Declaring   that   the   new   law   was   simply   about   "fairness   and   equality"   for   "all,"   they   proclaimed   that   Maine   had   supposedly   "ended   discrimination"   for   "everyone." 
But   the   law   did   no   such   thing. 
Indeed,   it   begins   by   codifying   the   re-defining-parameter   of   marriage   as   "2   people."     Namely,   in   Sec.   2,   L.D.   1020   declares,   "19-A   MRSA   §650-A     is   enacted   to   read:   Codification   of   marriage.     Marriage   is   the   legally   recognized   union   of   2   people."     It   would   thus   seem   that   the   homosexual   activists   are   not   really   fighting   for   the   "civil   rights"   of   the   "B"   in   GLBT,   after   all.     Apparently,   homosexuals   -   despite   their   claims   -   do   not   really   believe   that   "bisexuals"   are   "born   that   way." 
But   seriously,   way   beyond   "bisexuals"   and   the   humor   of   that   obvious   dichotomy,   the   new   law   does   take   that   numerical   "discrimination"   further.     In   Sec.   6.,   the   new   law   re-writes   19-A   MRSA   §701,   Prohibited   marriage. 
The   original   §701   statute   had   been   delineated   into   the   following   Clauses.     1.   Marriage   out   of   State   to   evade   law.     1-A.   Certain   marriages   performed   in   another   state   not   recognized   in   this   State.     2.   Prohibitions   based   on   degrees   of   consanguinity.       3.   Persons   under   disability.     4.   Polygamy.     5.   Same   sex   marriage   prohibited.        
The   last   two   Clauses   had   originally   declared   the   following.     "4.   Polygamy.     A   marriage   contracted   while   either   party   has   a   living   wife   or   husband   from   whom   the   party   is   not   divorced   is   void."     "5.     Same   sex   marriage   prohibited.     Persons   of   the   same   sex   may   not   contract   marriage." 
L.D.   1020   strikes   out   Clause   5   ("same   sex   marriage")   completely   and   alters   Clause   1-A   to   apply   only   to   Clauses   2-4   instead   of   2-5.     But   Clause   4   was   left   intact   -   still   prohibiting   polygamy. 
If   keeping   one   and   striking   out   the   other   Clause   had   happened   in   reverse,   homosexuals   would   be   screaming,   "Discrimination!     Bigotry!" 
At   the   Public   Hearing,   when   marriage   controllers   had   argued   against   L.D.   1020,   saying   that   children   need   a   father   and   a   mother,   homosexuals   responded   that   children   only   need   two   adults.   Yet,   Maine's   new   law   "discriminates"   against   consenting   adult   polygamy,   even   though   it   fulfills   both   arguments   -   and   more!     As   Mark   Henkel   asked   everyone,   "If   Heather   can   have   two   mommies,   why   can't   she   have   two   mommies   and   a   daddy?" 
For   all   the   hype   of   supposed   "equality"   for   "all,"   L.D.   1020   completely   left   consenting   adult   polygamists   "unequal"   indeed.     As   for   "fairness,"   Maine's   Bigamy   law   actually   criminalizes   the   very   free   speech   itself   of   a   married   man,   for   only   saying   an   unlicensed   "girlfriend"   is   a   "wife."     Indeed,   17-A   MRSA   Pt   2,   Ch   23,   §551   declares:     "A   person   is   guilty   of   bigamy   if,   having   a   spouse,   he   intentionally   marries   or   purports   to   marry,   knowing   that   he   is   legally   ineligible   to   do   so."     The   argument   of   "fairness"   is   utterly   ignored   for   consenting   adult   polygamists. 
Hence,   Maine's   "same   sex   marriage"   law   is   really   not   "An   Act   to   End   Discrimination   in   Civil   Marriage"   at   all.     The   law   brings   no   "equality   and   fairness"   for   consenting   adult   polygamists,   and   especially   no   "equal   protection   under   the   law."     By   the   same   terms   of   the   law's   supporters,   "discrimination"   against   consenting   adult   polygamy   has   not   been   ended. 
Instead,   government   marriage   control   continues...   just   re-defined.    


Bibliographic URLs:

“Maine legalizes same-sex marriage” 
LD 1020 
Public Hearing in Maine 
Mark Henkel, National Polygamy Advocate 
Governor Baldacci’s statement 
17-A MRSA Pt 2, Ch 23, §551 Bigamy. 
[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.]

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