EqualityMaine blasts Rep. Poliquin for ‘demonizing’ LGBT Mainers

EqualityMaine blasts Rep. Poliquin for ‘demonizing’ LGBT Mainers

The participation of Maine Second-District Representative Bruce Poliquin in a forum hosted by the Christian Civic League to discuss “the homosexual/transgendered agenda,” among other topics, has drawn the ire of the state’s leading LGBT advocacy group.

“Bruce Poliquin continues to side with right-wing extremists like the Christian Civic League and Michael Heath instead of the people of Maine. The voters spoke decisively in 2005 to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and they should have a representative in Congress who listens to them,” said Matt Moonen, Executive Director of EqualityMaine.

The forum took place on Tuesday at a church in Orrington. According to an email distributed by the League, Poliquin was set to join socially-conservative state senators Andre Cushing and Paul Davis and state senate candidates Larry Willey and Brett Baber, to hold forth before an audience of League-affiliated pastors on issues of “life, marriage, the homosexual/transgendered agenda, and religious freedom.”

EqualityMaine took issue, in particular, with the use of the phrase “homosexual agenda.” The term has long been used by anti-gay activists to imply nefarious purposes behind campaigns for same-sex marriage and other civil rights.

“This kind of extremist rhetoric, long practiced by the likes of the Christian Civic League and Michael Heath, is a desperate attempt to demonize LGBT Mainers,” said Moonen.  “The reality is that Mainers believe that all hardworking people – including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender – should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state and our nation, and Bruce Poliquin should be siding with Mainers, not Michael Heath.”

Heath, a former executive director of the League, launched a referendum campaign in April to overturn civil rights protections for LGBT Mainers as part of an effort to make gay and lesbian relationships illegal.

The backing of the Christian Civic League and Maine’s Christian Right was instrumental in Rep. Poliquin’s successful campaign in the Second-District Republican Primary in 2014, when he defeated pro-choice opponent Kevin Raye.

Update: According to a staffer from Rep. Poliquin’s office, despite being on the agenda for the event, Poliquin did not end up attending the forum. Asked if the Congressman supported the use of the term “homosexual/transgendered agenda,” and the broader anti-gay rights advocacy of the Christian Civic League, the staffer said he would be sending a statement momentarily. No statement has yet been received.

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