Catholic Church in Maine Scaling Up Pro-Marriage Efforts


The Kennebec Journal:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is launching a series of public meetings across the state to promote its view of marriage, just as the campaign about the same-sex marriage ballot question is heating up.

Suzanne Lafreniere, associate director of public policy for the diocese, said the speakers will "promote the principles of the faith" in nine lectures that begin Saturday and are open to the public.

"The big take-away is marriage is the union of man and woman and any children born of that union," she said. "This is part of our communications effort. We'll be continuing our educational efforts after the election."

... Reaching out to people of faith will be a significant part of the voter outreach on both sides. Of those who claim a religious affiliation in Maine, 29 percent are Catholic, 26 percent are mainline Protestant, and 15 percent are evangelical Protestant, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. One-quarter of Mainers are not affiliated with any religion, according to Pew.

Bob Emrich of Protect Marriage Maine, the leading opponents to same-sex marriage, said he welcomes the educational sessions.

"There's a large Catholic population in Maine," he said. "For the most part, they tend to be very engaged in terms of voting. I wouldn't want to try to win without them."