Indiana’s recently enacted legislation legalizing hatred under the guise of religion is troubling. We have crossed Indiana off our list of places to visit and spend our money. When my husband and I were married by two ordained clergy on Sept. 7, 2013, 200 of our family, friends and colleagues joyously served as witnesses to our vows of matrimony.

We also thank the voters of Maine for supporting equality. Both of us are contributing members to the great state of Maine by way of paying taxes, patronizing locally owned businesses, volunteering through our church, supporting community groups, serving on boards for non-profit organizations, and many other ways.

We implore Maine’s legislators, congressional delegation and other leaders to rise up and ensure we do not follow the path Indiana has set. As someone who has served in the public sector for 23 years, I know an individual’s voice does indeed make a difference. I urge people to contact their elected officials and tell them that this hatred toward each other has no place in Maine.

For all the supporters of this hate legislation, and for those who say nothing, I want to share a famous poem written by Martin Niemoller in response to the rise of the Nazis.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Brian S. Hodges

West Gardiner


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