Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It's About Gambling!

Perhaps the current red herring isn't giving the pro-discrimination crowd the traction they had hoped. Today the BDN reports that Mike Heath is claiming the gay rights law is actually part of a secret push for slot machines in Bangor.
In a recent weekly newspaper column, Heath argued it's that potential economic impact that prompted the Baldacci administration to advance the gay rights law this session. The law, Heath contends, was designed to prevent the league from focusing its full attention on repealing the slots law.

"The governor put a gay skirt on his Bangor slot machine palace hoping to once again divert the attention of the good people of Maine," Heath wrote.

Heath's argument elicited a quizzical response from the governor's spokesman.

"Mr. Heath appears to be a man of God. He also appears to be a man of remarkable imagination," said Baldacci spokesman Lynn Kippax. "In this case, he's dead wrong."

Here's the Heath column the article refers to. One part I found particularly interesting:
We wanted then, and we still want now, a revote of the slot machine question. Maine people thought they were voting to help needy elderly Mainers. That is how the slot machine referendum question was marketed. Mainers turned down the Indian casino question by a strong margin, while the cowboys snuck past em using this deceptive ploy.

In 1998, the CCL managed to strike down the anti-discrimination bill by less than one percent by rallying behind the cry "Vote Yes for Equal Rights!" when a yes vote was actually a vote against the equal rights legislation. Yet here he cites an ambiguous campaign for a ballot question as a reason for a new vote. This is the same guy that has contended for years that if a piece of legislation has already gone before the voters it should not be heard again.

Over the next few months we will see Heath and the pro-discrimination side claim that the gay rights bill is about gay marriage, gambling, child molestation, pornography and whatever other hot-button issues they can think of, everything but what the legislation is really about.

This bill is about allowing gay people to work in Maine without fear of being fired and rent a house without fear of being tossed out onto the street. It's sad the lengths these people will go to stop these basic rights.

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