I happened to catch the end of last night's debate between the various GOP candidates vying for the party's nomination in the Maine gubernatorial race. It offered some interesting insights, one of which was that a distressing number would advocate for the teaching of creationism in schools.
What was really interesting to me, however, was the answer to the question about same-sex marriage. Most of the candidates were opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage, which comes as no surprise. But only one or two (and there are, I think, eight in the running) explicitly disavowed legal recognition for same-sex couples. Almost all said that same-sex couples deserve some (or equal) protection under the law, even without calling it marriage. One advocated for equal legal status for all couples, and having marriage be an exclusively religious designation, which suits me just fine. And we'll get to Peter Mills in a second.
I found this remarkable. Admittedly, this is leftist Maine we're talking about, but these are the GOP candidates for governor. And almost all advocated for legal recognition of same-sex couples. While we're obviously a long way from full equality, and I think it'll be a while before the state gets anywhere near another attempt at marriage equality, I can't help but be encouraged.
And on that note, I'd like to specifically call out Peter Mills. He was, if I recall correctly, the only Republican in the state Senate to vote in favor of marriage equality, a stance he reiterated without hesitation last night. (He also unequivocally repudiated teaching creationism in schools.) If he gets the GOP nomination (which I think is a long shot, at best), I will have a hard time deciding who to vote for (particular if certain Democrats end up running against him). I kind of enjoy the hilarious hubris of endorsing a candidate, so here is the First Official Bleakonomy Political Endorsement of All Time -- Peter Mills for the Maine GOP nomination.
Someone alert Mark Halperin.
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