Tuesday, September 10, 2019: Not all churches support people’s veto efforts, surprise medical bills, questions about BDN reporting

By Our readers. Letters submitted by BDN readers, edited and verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com. • September 9, 2019 11:57 am

Not all churches support people’s veto efforts

Some media coverage of conservative Christian groups’ recent efforts to collect signatures for people’s vetoes leaves the impression that all churches oppose new laws expanding women’s access to reproductive health care and banning the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth. But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, tens of thousands of faithful people here in Maine support these laws. When our democratically elected Legislature considered these bills, the Maine Council of Churches, whose seven member denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, United Church of Christ, Methodist and Unitarian Universalist) represent 417 congregations and 55,000 parishioners, testified in favor of expanding women’s access to abortion services, and in favor of banning the discredited practice of conversion “therapy.”

By comparison, the conservative Christian Civic League and others are running campaigns at houses of worship and in neighborhoods to gather enough signatures to force a people’s veto to stop the laws from going into effect. Though some might think signing these petitions is “in the interest of democracy,” democracy was already at work when our elected legislators voted on and passed the bills.

Our Legislature took a giant step forward this year to ensure that all Mainers, no matter where you live or what kind of insurance you have, can access safe and affordable reproductive health care — including abortion — and to ensure that the LGBTQ youth of Maine are protected from the harm so-called conversion therapy perpetrates.

Let’s not allow a few extreme groups to take that away.

Jane Field
Executive Director
Maine Council of Churches