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Maine’s Democratic Candidate For Governor, Congressman Mike Michaud, Comes Out As Gay, But State Should Focus On Issues In Election

November 4, 2013

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This news is going to make the Maine gubernatorial race more intense and dramatic.

They want people to question whether I am gay,” Rep. Mike Michaud wrote in an opinion article published by local newspapers. “Allow me  to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer. Yes I am. But why should  it matter?

“That may seem like a big announcement to some people,” Michaud wrote. “For  me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation millworker  or a lifelong Mainer.”

The reasons this shakes the race up are many.

First there is a long winding political story to the state’s voting  54% to 47% in support of marriage equality.  It was not a smooth ride to civil rights in Maine.  There is a crusty element that still resents the success that gay people have achieved there, and will be seeking a way to strike back.

Second there is a most divisive Tea Party type who is now elected to the statehouse.  My issues with Maine Governor Paul LePage are his lack of intelligent thought, and his attempt to divide the electorate rather than unite it.   He needs to be removed from office.  But there is no doubt that this news from Michaud will turn the race nasty.  The Tea Party will do all they can to make this a most uncivil election.

Michaud, 58, is currently serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and made the disclosure in a column submitted to the press this morning.  He is from Maine’s more conservative 2nd Congressional District, and it they liked him before there should be no reason not to still value his role as a strong member of congress and a fighter for the people he represents.

While there have been rumors about his sexual preference for years would it not be better if we lived in a nation where it did not matter who one loved, but instead at a time like this what policy ideas should be advanced to make the lives of ordinary citizens in Maine better?  Lets hope the voters of Maine are mature about this news, and make the election about the future needs of the state, and not about who one sleeps with.

5 Comments
  1. November 5, 2013 10:27 AM

    Tom,

    You mentioned National Review, and as such you might like to read my thoughts on the founder of that magazine at the time of his death. I really enjoyed William Buckley, Jr. I also agree that news on TV is often not well done. BBC on radio and NewsHour are great, I think.

    https://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/william-f-buckley-jr-was-a-joy-to-listen-to/

  2. November 5, 2013 10:16 AM

    Tom,

    Thanks for the comment. I welcome the back and forth of comments, and am glad you read CP, and add your perspective. I am the one people call long-winded, so never worry.

    You are right about the way sexual preference and race should be viewed. In a perfect world it would be, and in many ways we are moving in the correct direction. But we are not there yet. But from my 51 years of watching the transformation I can say there is much to be proud of with the progress.

    I have over time commented on someone’s ‘coming out” or being gay and presented it in different ways. For instance when Jim Parsons (Sheldon) came out as gay and in a 10-year relationship I posted it on my blog with the fact it was not exactly news, as most people suspected and then added “And who would not want Parsons on their team?” I posted it as a huge fan of his show and Parson’s acting ability.

    But when Ken Mehlam, the former chair of the Republican national Committee came out as gay in 2010 I had a far different reaction.

    “That Mehlman is gay remains one of the worst held ‘secrets’ in national politics for so long that it makes this more a note for the ‘yester-year’ column. (If I had such a thing.) Mehlman did so much harm to others for political gain while remaining closeted, and that is unconscionable. He inflicted so much pain on himself through it all, and that is truly sad. That the GOP will learn nothing from any of this is par for the course. The thing one should always know when given any role in politics is that the chance will not come twice, so use the power you have to make a difference. Mehlman failed in that mission for gay Americans, and himself.”

    I think those two examples demonstrate the differences of how people live their lives, and then how they are viewed once coming out. I feel people should be able to ‘come out’ on their own timetable. But I do not feel that if closeted anyone then has a right to work in ways that undermines the rest of the gay community. That happens with politicians and some religious figures. And that is when I call it for how I see it on CP.

    As for Fox News they never reported that Mehlman was gay as it does not meet with the carefully crafted news package they produce. Over and over there is a continuing theme of bias and bigotry that gets presented for their audience on a whole raft of issues, including gay issues.

  3. tom permalink
    November 4, 2013 11:22 PM

    I looked into the guy’s record. Seems a pretty long time supporter of gay rights. But, when how we treat sexuality depends on whatever organization one belongs to, and we do not judge people based only on the content of their character we are fools.

    As for Fox News I have to admit that I don’t bother much with it. I’m more NPR in the morning and National Review at night, but Ive never seen any serious critique of Fox news which uses actual evidence to support the often repeated claims you make. Perhaps you have done such a post? I find most TV news to be horrible.

    I still think that when we use a person’s sexuality to smear them for whatever reason (like posts wondering of Charlie Crist is gay) we teach people that to be gay is something out of the ordinary…something fit for public speculation. It should be of no consequence at all. Wouldn’t you agree? But on this blog you seem to say sometimes it is an important gotcha tactic, but other times it should not matter. We would never make this distinction about race.

    After all, just as a black man is free to make up his mind that affirmative action is not in his community’s interest, isn’t a gay man free to determine that gay marriage is not? We would both disagree, but would it be right to express or disagreement in one case in terms of race or in terms of sexuality with personal attacks?

    Sorry. I tend to be long winded, and enjoy debate. I mean no offense by my comments.

  4. November 4, 2013 2:18 PM

    While Fox News uses its platform to undermine gay marriage and over time other gay civil rights matter (DADT) I am not aware that Michaud used his position in congress to undermine civil rights. If I am wrong then I will post about that matter. Not sure, but I sense you are somewhat new to reading CP, but please know I am just as hard on members of my party as I am on those who I disagree with on the other side. To my knowledge Michaud has supported same sex marriage. In fact, Michaud scores 100% by the HRC on gay rights.

  5. tom permalink
    November 4, 2013 12:48 PM

    I’m confused? When does a person’s sexuality not matter?

    In the case of the Fox news worker, the fact that he was gay had tremendous bearing on what he said or did not say, right? Because he was gay, he had to be vocal in his opposition to things you don’t like. While you didn’t present any anti-gay comments made by the Fox worker, these–in addition to his sexuality–made it okay to target him for special hostility. Indeed, it was only that he associated with people who expressed ideas you didn’t like that justified targeting him.

    I would like to know what his stance on gay marriage has been over the past 40 years. Has he ever made even the slightest comment about it? Do you wish to downplay his sexuality because if you were forced to look into these matters, the answer might be troubling?

    Based on his sexual identity, Michaud must either be celebrated as a hero or denounced as a villain. Or, is it just that he is a democrat that alters the math here?

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