Supporters of Maine’s Question 1 have reported receiving death threats from irate opponents of the measure, which vetoed the state legislature’s move to allow same-sex “marriage.” In response, one former homosexual leader says supporters should not “live in fear” but should “stay strong” and show a love that helps their adversaries to change.
On Nov. 3, Maine voters approved Question 1 by a margin of 53 to 47 percent, causing disappointment and dismay among its opponents.
On Monday, Nov. 9 the Stand for Marriage Maine headquarters received a threatening voice mail from a woman who said: “You're dead. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon... you're dead."
According to the Portland Press Herald, spokesman for Stand for Marriage Scott Fish said a campaign worker closing the office in Yarmouth discovered the message.
Yarmouth police Sgt. Daniel Gallant said the message did not identify anyone by name. He reported that police are taking the threat seriously and will try to trace the call. Police will interview those associated with Stand for Marriage who may have been threatened during the campaign.
Last Friday, an anonymous caller to the Question 1 backer Christian Civic League of Maine threatened its former director.
"I am calling about Mr. Mike Heath, the Executive of your Christian Civic League of Maine. He thinks that gay people should have our rights revoked that we already have. Well I can tell him this - I'm a gay guy who owns guns, and he's my next target."
Heath no longer works for the organization and was not actively involved in the Question 1 campaign, the Portland Press Herald reports. He was involved in opposing homosexual rights proposals in 1998, 2000 and 2005.
Augusta police are investigating that threat. Heath has been notified by the police.
The Christian Civic League reported receiving other critical comments which said they would “burn in hell” for not believing in “equality for all.” Messages also claimed that Jesus would hate the group and attacked the organization for promoting “hate, bigotry, and lies.”
According to MyFoxMaine.com, the No on 1 campaign said it continues to condemn “any speech or action that doesn’t treat people respectfully… our supporters have also faced similar intimidation from time to time.”
The campaign said it shares the view of Stand For Marriage Maine director Mark Mutty, who said opponents must treat each other as “fellow neighbors and co-workers.”
CNA spoke about the Maine threats with Michael Glatze, a former leader in the homosexual movement who has stopped self-identifying as gay.
“This stuff really gets to me,” he said of the threats. “Anytime you say anything about homosexuality there’s going to be a lot of hate and people are going to get rather riled up and furious. Those are the same people that are looking for hate crime legislation.
“It can be really scary for somebody that’s in a place trying to help and trying to push against all the messages we hear from our society.
“I’m sorry that those people in Maine had to go through that,” Glatze said of the death threats.
Glatze said the issue is “so frightening” right now because some people are “trying to do the right thing” but more and more people say “forget it, I’m not going to bother, I’ll just go ahead with it because I’d rather do that than live in fear.”
He told CNA he is not a supporter of same-sex “marriage” because he believes marriage is “a union of man and woman, a covenant created to support life and the raising of children.”
“It is a godly covenant, not man-made so I think this whole same-sex marriage movement is decidedly arrogant because it claims that man can remake this divine covenant to suit his own particular desires, which are desires in contradiction to human happiness and the success of life.”
The accusation that advocates of traditional marriage are driven by hate, he said, is “horrible” and makes him sick.
Glatze described to CNA his conversations with a former colleague and roommate who is calling him hateful because of his present position.
“The irony is I am quite calm, and the calmer I am the more angry he is and the more vehemently he’s trying to tell me how hateful I am. I don’t have to describe the irony of that.
“The situation is very hard for people because they are so wrapped up in a lifestyle that they have been living for a long time. They are so supported by our culture and increasingly reinforced by messages from charismatic leaders, scientific organization, Hollywood stars, just about everybody except for Christians, unfortunately.”
Asked to discuss his background, Glatze said he first identified as homosexual at the age of 19 and became an activist to try to “make a difference” and “eliminate homophobia.”
“Eventually I was on a panel at Harvard and I was asked to answer a bunch of questions. I can remember speaking a bunch of pro-homosexual viewpoints, and I realized I wasn’t entirely sure I agreed with them.
“Eventually I came to understand that I didn’t agree,” he explained, describing this as a “very, very scary experience” because it meant he had to uproot most of his firm beliefs.
“I ended up moving on from those mistakes of mine and into what was a much more open and non-judgmental way of life, which is of course the opposite of what many gay activists and others like to think.
He said that when he was in that previous mindset, the love of his family truly helped him.
When he was on course to become a prominent leader in the movement, even being profiled in Time Magazine, he said his Christian family had “a love that was the love that you can only have through God.”
“That really seeps through everything, no matter what views a person holds,” he told CNA.
If he would say he had just published the first issue of his pro-homosexual magazine, his family “wouldn’t just judge and say we don’t agree. They would say, Oh good for you Michael, we’re so proud of you.”
“There was a love that just surpassed everything. They were still there, they were still with me. Eventually it was that love that enabled me to change my views.”
Those threatened in Maine and those in other states, he said, should “never stop that love, God’s love, and never doubt it.”
“But at the same time be careful. I think we really need to stay strong and help each other because it is a grave situation,” Glatze said to CNA.
“I’ve had e-mails similarly. They scare me, they make me very nervous.
“That’s our reality right now.”