Sep 29 2009

Time is running out in Maine. Soon people will begin to request their absentee ballots and start voting. The time for President Obama to make clear that he opposes the ballot measure in that state is now. If he waits any longer, the Maggie Gallagher brigade against human rights will use his opposition to marriage to prove that he supports the proposition. During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama was quite clear that he opposed all such measures, despite his opposition to marriage equality.

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If the president doesn't want his own words to be used in a hate-filled campaign then he better speak up now. We all remember what happened in California. Even though Obama opposed Proposition 8, his profile on the initiative was very low. As a result, the YES on 8 folks did mass mailings using Obama's own words against marriage equality to imply that he supported the divisive measure. Many liberals and African-Americans were confused and voted "YES ON 8" as a result of those mailings and ads. Let's not let that happen again.

To avoid a reocurrence of that disaster, the president should immediately, strongly and unequivocally oppose the proposition in Maine. He should denounce the efforts of the right-wing to put human rights on the ballot to be voted upon as if it was just another measure for the voters. The president must not mince words or be tepid in his support or once again go into his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. We got that, Mr. President. Time to come down without clever political language for full equality for the LGBT community.

The president must stop allowing himself to be used and remain silent while it is happening. He won't be left out on a limb alone if he stands for justice. Thousands and thousands of his supporters from Maine and around the nation are contributing, volunteering and working hard to defeat this hate-filled effort. At the recent National Convention of the AFL-CIO, delegates were urged by leaders to call family and friends in Maine. Countless people of faith are working and praying for the defeat of this proposition. The Democratic Party in Maine has come out against it. So the president shouldn't fear about being out there alone, his friends will be by his side.

Many of us voted for Barack Obama because we felt that in the time of great need we would see greatness from him. Well, this is a time of great need in the state of Maine. Right now. Not later in the month long after people have sent their absentee ballots into the polling places.

If the president can muster the courage to show leadership in this battle, the nation will be a better place, the LGBT community will be closer to freedom and he will be a better person