Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bishop Gene in Portland, Maine

From the Portland Press-Herald:

The nation's first openly gay Episcopal bishop got a warm welcome Thursday night from a crowd that came to hear him say why religion matters in the debate about Maine's Nov. 3 referendum on same-sex marriage.

More than 300 people came to the Cathedral Church of St. Luke on State Street to hear the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, deliver a speech aimed at getting out the vote.

Robinson, who has been in a relationship for more than 20 years, held back nothing when talking about rights for gays and lesbians, and about people who oppose same-sex marriage based on their interpretation of the Bible.

"We need to rescue the Bible from the religious right, which has held us hostage for a very long time," said Robinson, whose remarks drew a long ovation.

Robinson directed several of his remarks at Stand for Marriage Maine, the group that is campaigning to repeal Maine's new law legalizing same-sex marriage.

"I have a message for them," the 62-year-old bishop said. "Religious people and religious institutions need not fear marriage equality, because if this passes, nothing will change for them."

"Speak up, don't whine, and for God's sake don't be afraid to come out as a religious person," he told his audience.

Thanks to Wade who sent the link to me. He was present and says:

There was an article in the local rag about the event, though they're full of it as regards the turnout. The Cathedral was set up to seat 650 and there were very few empty seats. I'd dare say we had 550 in attendance. I'm starting to feel like we're going to win this one!

Let us hope that Wade is right and the repeal effort fails.


  1. I think it's going to be close, but I'm still hopeful. Company did not make it possible for me to attend, and I'm not sure the news coverage did it justice. The anti-gay marriage ads are focussed on what "they" will teach our children in school. Makes me mad every time I see one. My son (from California) says they're very much like the ones in CA. I just hope Maine people aren't as gullible.

  2. They are almost exactly the same ads as in CA, much of the same footage. Tney won here in large part by making it about schools, even though the fact of marraige, or not, has no effect on schools: that is, you don't have to legalize gay marriage to teach that there are gay families!

  3. I do hope the people of Maine are not fooled. Justice and respecting the dignity of all persons is really the issue. Trying to make it about schools is a red herring.

  4. Sad to say, folks are too often fooled by red herrings. but let's pray not in this instance.

  5. As a former "Mainiac" I can tell you that practical sense rules in all matters. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is not a statement of avoidance but practicality. Mainiacs have no problem fixing what's broken, and marriage equality will fix a broken system.

  6. I think it's mostly down to who mobilizes the most voters. The opposition from the Roman Bishop will help our side. Roman Catholics love to ignore their Bishops. Unless a Nun says it they won't believe it!

  7. Unless a Nun says it they won't believe it!

    Yes, indeed.

    Let's hope the practicality kicks in bigtime.

  8. +Gene will be in Jackson Wyoming next weekend. Hope to get over to see him.

  9. Ann, go listen and give us a report.


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