Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Good Neighbors in Maine

Maine legalized marriage equality today!

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Legislators in Maine and New Hampshire have voted in favor of gay marriage.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH'-chee) quickly signed his state's bill Wednesday. But New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch hasn't indicated what he'll do.

Both governors are Democrats.

If New Hampshire's bill becomes law, Rhode Island would become the sole holdout on gay marriage among the six New England states.

Iowa also allows it because of a court order. California briefly had gay marriage, but voters later banned it.

Some famous guy once said: "Love your neighbor as yourself." The folks in Maine thought that was a pretty good idea.

Here is Maine Poet Laureate Emerita, Kate Appelton, with a fitting poem for the day:

Neighborliness

In Maine we're used to it, it's still
the custom to look out for the neighbors, a habit
handed down from the start
of the earliest fishing villages, of the first
long strings of hundred-acre farms
stretched along ridges, each one usually
just called, "The Road."

On that road,
if a man fell sick, or a widow
was facing a hard winter, it was neighbors
who filled the woodshed, the neighbors
who shared meat when they butchered If a house
burned down, the whole neighborhood
turned out to help build another. When a storm
threatened anyone's cut hay, it was everyone
who hurried over to help get it safely
into the barn. And the helping
goes right on: this fall I heard
of someone who had to put a whole paycheck
on an old debt, and then found a hot dinner
waiting on the step when he got home from work
every night for a month -- but no one
ever admitted a thing.

In Maine
we have a way of looking out
for one another. When the great ice storm
struck us last year, the grocery stores
were full of extra heaters left there
for anyone to borrow, and the whole state
was busy with jeep cans of water and stacks of wood,
making sure we were all alright, that everyone
would pull through.

In Maine
we are glad to be part of a land
that remains so beautiful under its green skin
of woods and open fields, that is glitteringly
bordered by thousands of miles
of breaking waves, and that is lovely,
too, with an unbroken tradition
of concerns, with the kind, enduring grace
of its neighborliness.
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