Cross posted at Dirigo Blue
Like a receding tide (and utterly as predictable), the advertisements and claims made by Stand for Marriage Maine (S4MM) have become ever more outrageous as Election Day draws closer. What began as a campaign to defend "traditional marriage" evolved to a fear mongering, using children and schools.
The same playbook that was used in 2008 in California is being used here in Maine, which is again not surprising, in that the same public relations firm that ran the campaign against same-sex marriage out west is doing so here.
That playbook is paid for by one major funder as well, in this case the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM has given so much money to the Yes on 1 campaign that it is being investigate by the Maine Ethics Commission to see if qualifies as a PAC.
Make the jump:
NOM filed a complaint in Federal Court in Bangor last Wednesday which you can read here (pdf warning, h/t Right Wing Watch). NOM is joined by American Principles In Action (APIA) in the suit, which is explained on page 11 of the complaint:
- Plaintiff APIA is a nonprofit 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to promoting equality of opportunity and ordered liberty.
- APIA does not have as its major purpose the promotion or defeat of any Maine referendum or ballot question.
- APIA intends to produce a 30 second video entitled "Bigot" relating to same-sex marriage in Maine and place it on its website.
The script for the ad is as follows:
Girl: Mommy, are you a bigot?
Girl: At school, we learned that people who are against gay marriage are bigots.
Mother: No, dear. I believe that homosexuals should be treated fairly--but I also believe that marriage should be just for one man and one woman. That doesn't make me a bigot.
Girl: What about Reverend Jones and Father Diego? Are they bigots?
Mother: Did you learn that at school too?
VO: Think that gay marriage won't affect your family? Think again.
Vote Yes Graphic
- APIA also intends to produce a 30 second video entitled "The New Curriculum" relating to same-sex marriage in Maine and place it on its website. The script for the ad is as follows:
School Administrator (talking to an off-camera mic/reporter--as he talks, we see images of teachers in classrooms reading from blurred-out books, GLSEN-style posters, etc.):
No, we're very proud of the new curriculum. It's all about teaching kids to embrace different lifestyles and explore their own sexuality.
Switching from images of sex ed classrooms to little boy on a bench in a darkened school hallway. We can see an adult male (not his face, we're looking from the perspective of the child and the view never includes his head) come out of an office, take the boy's hand, lead him into the office, and close the door. Freeze on the closed door, which has a sign that says, "Counseling Session: Do Not Disturb"
Reporter (VO): Yes, but is it appropriate for kindergartners to be receiving counseling about whether they might be gay?
School Admin (VO): Sure, we've had a few complaints, but there's not much parents can do. It's the law, after all.
VO: Think gay marriage won't affect your family? Think again.
Vote Yes Graphic
- APIA estimates that the total cost of producing "Bigot" and "The New Curriculum" and placing them on its website is approximately $3,000.
Read through that second ad again. You know and I know that counseling about sexuality, or sex for that matter, is not given to Kindergarteners. The set up is every parent's nightmare, except, of course, one that has nothing to do with reality. Portraying a school counselor as a sexual predator ironically uses the sex scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church in an attempt to lend some credibility to the ad.
But let me be clear: elementary schools do not teach sex education to their students in Maine. Elementary school counselors do not counsel children about sexuality or sexual preference.
And further - allowing same-sex couples to marry, the law that the Yes on 1 campaign is trying to veto, has nothing to do with what is currently taught in Maine schools, or what will be taught in the future.
If you have been wondering just how low S4MM, its head Marc Mutty, Bishop Richard Malone, and everyone associated with the Yes on 1 campaign are willing to go, the two ads above should give you some idea.
And that they base their argument on moral grounds even makes them more despicable.
If you want to help supporters of lesbian and gay couples in Maine, please visit NO on 1. The friendly folks there can let you know how you can volunteer, which includes phone banking from your home, or even traveling to Maine to help get out the vote this weekend. Thank you!