Maine Family Farm Becomes Flashpoint for Gay Marriage/Free Speech Debate


The Bangor Daily News reports on a story we've seen all too often -- good, decent, pro-marriage citizens express their first amendment rights on behalf of marriage (by simply putting up a "No on Question 1" sign) and are met with boycotts and harassment.

It's extremely encouraging, however, in this instance to see how many people are already standing with the Treworgy family! The family posted a detailed explanation for their pro-marriage views on their Facebook page which has already been liked over 1,600 times (at the time of this writing).

A poll hosted by the Bangor Daily News found readers supporting the Treworgy family's choice to put up their sign 71%-28% (at the time of this writing).

Stories like that of the Treworgy family puts yet another face to the reality that redefining marriage has consequences for everyone, and that far too often the free speech of pro-marriage citizens is marginalized and stigmatized -- that is, unless we band together to stand up for our right to be for marriage!

The Bangor Daily News:

When the owner of a local family farm operation exercised his right to free speech by putting up a small political sign near a private driveway, some customers with an opposing view exercised their consumer rights to boycott the business.

That, in turn, prompted others to publicly come out in support of the farm family in a battle that is being waged primarily on the farm’s Facebook page.

At issue is a small lawn size “No on 1” sign that Gary Treworgy, patriarch of the family farm, put up in front of his house. The property is also the location of a business that employs several family members.

“Don’t redefine marriage. Vote NO on Question One. Marriage=One Man + One Woman,” read the sign, sponsored by the Protect Marriage Maine campaign.

A citizen initiative on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot, Question 1seeks to overturn Maine’s ban on same-sex marriage. The issue has proven a contentious one — pitting neighbors, family members and friends against one another from one end of the state to the other.

The first post critical of Treworgy’s sign appeared Sunday, family spokesman Jon Kenerson said Monday afternoon. Within less than 24 hours, more than 15,000 people had visited the page, with many of them weighing in with comments, he said.

... The controversy playing out on the Treworgy Family Orchards Facebook page prompted the family to post a lengthy statement Sunday night in which the family apologized for any hurt the sign might have caused — but at the same time stood by its position on same-sex marriage.

“This is obviously a very divisive issue and we value the freedom for every citizen to exercise their rights to express their opinion,” the statement read. “It’s a shame that so many assume that we are hateful and discriminatory simply because we are convinced that marriage is defined by a higher power than civil government.”