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Third Anti-Gay Group Enters The Fight Against Maine’s Pro-Marriage Equality Referendum

May 15, 2012 11:36 am ET by Carlos Maza

Earlier this month, the Portland Press Herald announced the creation of a third anti-gay group fighting this November’s voter initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine – the Maine Marriage Allies PAC, which will be a project of the ironically named Maine Equal Rights Center (MERC). On its Facebook page, MERC is described as a “grass roots campaign to educate voters on same sex marriage.”

MERC’s website, however, is a deluge of misinformation, confused political analyses, and some truly cringe-worthy writing.

The website is organized into a number of tabs meant to provide visitors with information about the proposed marriage initiative. Each tab varies wildly in content and tone; some inexplicably focus on criticizing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) while another includes an image of President Obama riding a unicorn

Most tabs, however, contain the same kind of unsubstantiated talking points one might expect from an anti-gay group. The “Rights” tab leads readers to a laundry list of unsubstantiated, unexplained falsehoods about marriage equality:

Every state that passed gay marriage gave up their first amendment rights so public schools can teach 5 year olds about gay sex.

Every state that passed gay marriage created another loop hole to allow non citizens access to taxpayer dollars for welfare.

Every state that legalized ‘gay’ marriage failed to create equality like they told voters it would and has only led to a dramatic increase in the numbers of law suits that can be filed.

Legalizing gay marriage has not accomplished one single thing they said it will but is doing many things they won’t tell you it will.

[...]

Gay rights are not civil rights and marriage is not a Constitutional right.  Many of the people don’t truly understand what this is about, they just want an excuse to protest.

[...]

Gay marriage is being sold to the American people state by state as a way to bring about ‘human rights’ which it does not do.  All it does do is replace our Bill of Rights and Constitutional rights one amendment at a time as part of a global agenda and that is not progress.

Under the “Education” tab, one can read about the long-debunked horror story that legalizing same-sex marriage will result in “teaching five year olds about gay sex.” The page also includes this nugget of political science wisdom:

There are two kinds of government competing for this control.  A Constitutional, which protects people  from a centralized and absolute form of government and Communist, which is a centralized, absolute power that does not protect people from the government.

Last November, MERC’s founder Erick Bennett unsuccessfully ran as a write-in candidate to become mayor of Portland, Maine. His YouTube account features a number of mystifying amateur campaign ads, as well as an over eight-minute-long video on “same sex equality” in which Bennett criticizes Maine’s non-discrimination statute, among other things.

Bennett’s Facebook page is also littered with anti-LGBT commentary, including a number of posts in which he appears to mock transgender people:

Despite his anti-gay rhetoric, Bennett seems to have distanced himself from Maine’s inflammatory NO Special Rights PAC, another group working to defeat the pro-equality referendum in November. In a May 4 Facebook post, Bennett criticized NO Special Rights PAC’s co-founder Mike Heath for his homophobic “messaging,” instead aligning himself with the more mainstream Protect Marriage Maine coalition:

Previously:

Anti-Gay Groups Infighting Over Messaging In Maine Marriage Campaign

Meet Mike Heath, Co-Founder Of Maine’s Anti-LGBT “NO Special Rights PAC”

Anti-Equality Chairman Admits To Lying To Voters, When Will NOM Do The Same?