April 07, 2020

A law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to jobs, housing, credit and public accommodations was passed by Maine lawmakers and the governor.

On Feb. 10, Mainers will vote on a referendum to either repeal or keep the law now in effect. The law doesn’t say that anyone has to favor or condone sexual activity in any form. I tend to consider it none of my business. Sexual preferences, sexual orientation or sexual activities are not bench marks I use or even think about when choosing or coming in contact with friends or neighbors.

In this far from perfect world there are probably few of us, if we look at ourselves honestly, that don’t discriminate in some form or to some extent. Could it be because our neighbors are of different race or faith? Or something as small as somebody being richer or poorer, or thinner or plumper?

As we enter a new year, the time for resolutions is upon us. Along with losing a few pounds or helping more with the housework or the yard work, let us go for a big one this year. Let us declare Feb. 10 (referendum day) a day to at least try to address all of our discriminations. Let us make Maine a fairer and a bit better place to live for some of our friends and neighbors.

Let us remember the many tragedies that can be traced to acts of discrimination. By remembering, perhaps we can help at least some of our children to become somewhat better people than we are ourselves. Harlan H. Gardner Machias

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