Meanwhile, on the home front

From the KJ:
AUGUSTA -- More than 1,000 gay-marriage opponents are expected to rally in Augusta for an evening event Sunday featuring religious and conservative leaders from across Maine and the country.

It's the second such rally held in the state capital this year and it's designed to inspire and motivate same-sex marriage opponents, said the Rev. Bob Emrich, of Plymouth, one of the organizers.

"We want to show people they are not alone," he said. "It's OK to stand for traditional marriage. There's a common perception that you're in the minority."

In February, even before state lawmakers began reviewing gay-marriage bills, an estimated 1,000 people came to the Augusta Civic Center for a rally organized by the Christian Family Research Council of Washington, D.C.

This time around, organizers said they expect 1,500 to 2,000 people at the same venue, now that voters will have a chance in November to decide whether to repeal the state's new same-sex marriage law or let it stand.

The Stand for Marriage Rally is being organized by Focus on the Family, The Maine Jeremiah Project, Family Research Council and Stand for Marriage Maine, which includes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. Bishop Richard Malone is expected to address the crowd, along with religious leaders from Maryland and California.

James Dobson of Focus on the Family will provide a video message, Emrich said.

The event is free, but tickets are required. Emrich said members of the media will not be allowed inside the event.

Well, even though I'm not a member of "the media" as such, I probably won't be able to swing a ticket. Thus, sadly, no intrepid reportage from Yours Truly. Which is probably for the best, since I would rather glue my eyelids shut than watch a video message from James Dobson.

I'd also like to touch briefly on the involvement of Bishop Malone, who has single-handedly managed to alienate a large number of moderate Catholics in the state. (My own bishop has offered his own opinion, but has done so in a tempered and humble manner, and has neither claimed to speak for Episcopalians in the diocese or to direct members of the church to comply with his own feelings.) It is one thing for the bishop to support the "people's veto" effort as a matter of conscience or religious conviction. It is another thing entirely for him to take a leading role, and to direct congregations in the state to circulate petitions supporting the measure. By doing so, he has made it perfectly clear that gay and lesbian people are not welcome in the Catholic Church (or, at the very least, not in Maine). Considering how dire the situation faced by the church in Maine is, driving away younger and more moderate worshipers strikes me as a foolish (possibly fatal) move.

Finally, in closing, I am delighted to read that opponents to marriage equality feel as though they are in the minority. I certainly hope so. If you'd like to help them to feel this way until November 3, please go here.

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