Each night while preparing to eat dinner at 7:30 p.m., we switch from “Hardball” to “Jeopardy.” At first we thought that would be more relaxing than screaming at the screen. But that didn’t last long. Now we scream at each other.

“I said it first.”

“No, you didn’t. I clearly said ‘Madagascar.'”

But sooner or later, a Maine political ad with a name thrown in grabs me and draws me back in. This item caught my attention while waiting for Final Jeopardy.

“Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage has joined 15 other Republican governors in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that argues that a portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prevents discrimination against workers, including in pay and benefits, shouldn’t apply to gender identity or sexual orientation.”

It gets worse. The brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to let companies fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without “violating federal workplace discrimination law.” Really?

Long story made short: The brief concerns a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker. In that case, the worker had informed a supervisor that said worker was transitioning to become a woman.

Seriously. Let’s be honest. I suspect that this is not just about one transgendered man, but more about the next part of the political right’s ongoing efforts to de-gay America.

Dear Gov. LePage, you know I come from the world of comedy. For 32 years as a freelance columnist and film critic in these papers, I have worked on honing what the great gay Noel Coward called “a talent to amuse.” I write to make my readers smile, laugh and occasionally weep. I long ago decided to avoid being seen as a passionate left-wing polemicist. Also, I have made an effort to avoid picking on you, even when, on occasion, you tested my patience.

But OMG. Look at what you’ve gone and done. Did you really have to add your name to that garbage? Did you think this through? Really? Did you run this by Mrs. LePage? I always do that first with my wife to avoid embarrassing myself. You didn’t, did you?

I confess, I haven’t covered your career as carefully as I should. I not only write for a living, I also have housework and it is my birthday. It’s not all about you.

But this, for me, is the “bridge too far.” I have skin in this game, Governor. I am probably the only guy in my little town who counts over 25 gay friends of all colors and genders, both living and dead, here and across the nation, and one name is deeply embedded in my heart.

I add this to honor my nephew Michael Devine, who died several years ago of AIDS in the arms of his father, a World War II veteran and American firefighter. I’ve buried gay friends, famous ones. As you can imagine, this is, for me, a personal issue.

I can see that you’ve had some health problems with weight and way too many blood-pressure-raising arguments. I’m Irish and can identify with that.

Now you’ve lost all that weight and saved some money, and you’ve only got a couple of months left in office.

You could have just slipped out of Augusta in November, retired to a nice home in Florida to sit on a bench in the park, watching alligators eat stray cats, and spent the rest of your life basking in the sun, or accepting a glamorous part-time position in the trembling temple in Washington. Now look at what you’ve gone and done. Shame.

I will probably go over to the other side before you, Governor, and will be waiting there when you arrive. I want you to know that on that day I will defend you at the final judging. Because, Governor, we of the left have no blacklist.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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