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The man who derailed the transgender agenda in Maine . . . and what happened to him
Some of the biggest dangers to pro-family movement are from within
POSTED: September 17, 2010
One person with guts and perseverance can accomplish amazing things. In this case, the state's public schools were saved from a descent into madness -- certainly the most extreme situation ever in America, which would surely have been the springboard for other states. (That's one reason we fought so hard and stopped the "Transgender Rights" bill in the Mass. legislature this past session.)
Back in February, the homosexual lobby in Maine was poised to force the normalization of cross-dressing and transgender behavior into the public schools through mandates being prepared in relative secrecy by the Maine Human Rights Commission, an official tribunal given broad powers by the Legislature, which was also secretly working with hardcore homosexual activists. (Note that this was possible because the state had passed a law in 2005 banning discrimination on the basis of "gender identity.") Among other things, the new rules would allow boys who choose to "identify as girls" to use girls' bathrooms and locker rooms (and vice versa).
As MassResistance reported at the time, Mike Hein, the Administrator of the Christian Civic League of Maine, started by taking immediate steps to expose to the public what was happening.
An amazing story
After Hein was met with initial resistance by public officials, he filed a "Freedom of Access Act" request to get copies of the working documents from the Commission. What he found was even more shocking than he had anticipated. They had a plan to force a set of oppressive regulations into law through a purposefully stealth manner.
Hein published the documents (which should have been public from the beginning) and thoroughly exposed what was happening.
Then he pulled together key activists from around the state. He organized a full-court press on the Commission to act completely "in the sunshine" and to hold their pending actions accountable to wide public scrutiny. The Commission and the GLBT lobby soon capitulated and abandoned their efforts.
Hein had beaten them. It was a huge victory for the pro-family cause.
But a price to pay
But unfortunately in today's climate of "moderate" conservatives there can be a steep price to pay. The Christian League's strong longtime leader, Mike Heath, had stepped down a few months earlier. The people who took over began to add several "moderate" Board members who quickly took full control, and the League began to take a steep turn to the left. They made it clear that they wanted a "kindler, gentler" approach to the culture wars.
The Man Who Derailed Maine's Transgendered Agenda
The ill-advised guidelines for transgendered students were the product of the Maine Human Rights Commission, which sought to add to the Maine Human Rights Act of 2005. Under the proposed guidelines, schools would be required to allow a boy to use girls' bathrooms and locker rooms. The guidelines would still be in effect today, had it not been for the efforts of Mike Hein.
Hein is a former National Guard NCO who was hired as the Administrator of the Christian Civic League of Maine. A long-distance runner, Hein is affable and good-natured, and a stickler for regulations. By nature, he possesses an inflexible perseverance, and an absolute unwillingness to back down over principle. These traits earned Hein the moniker "The Two Fisted Man of God," a name one devotional writer applied to the Old Testament prophet, Nehemiah.
One day last winter, Hein rushed into the office of the Christian Civic League in Augusta, holding a copy of the Kennebec Journal. Hein was justifiably angry over a story about the Maine Human Rights Commission's plan to proceed with proposed educational guidelines for transgendered students.
After the departure of Mike Heath, and as the Board of the Christian Civic League was beginning its search for a director with a softer, more feminine tone, no one noticed they had left the pit bull of the pro-family movement in charge of the League's office in Augusta.
After strategizing with the staff of the League, Hein decided to file a Maine Freedom of Access Act request on the MHRC. The League had been very successful with these requests in the past. In 2006, the League revealed that the state had received a gift of oil money from Hugo Chavez in exchange for Governor John Baldacci's declaration that he supported diplomatic recognition for Cuba. The Record was the only paper in the nation to publish photos of John Baldacci alongside Fidel Castro; and Congressman Joe Barton's House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested copies of the League's documents gathered under the Freedom of Access Act Request.
The Christian Civic League filed the request on the MHRC, and the results were shocking. The documents released to the League proved that there was a plan to deliberately mislead the public about the nature of the guidelines. As stated in the documents, the Commission planned to market the guidelines to the public first as recommendations, then planned to impose the guidelines as regulations with the force of law.
The documents also showed that prominent homosexual rights activists were given a line-by-line review of the proposed guidelines, and that the guidelines were opposed by the representatives of professional and educational associations in Maine.
Hein posted these revelations on the website of the Christian Civic League, then issued a press release calling on the public to attend the Commission's hearing on the guidelines. Hein then sent out emails to pro-family activists in the state alerting them to the meeting.
The League realized that the issue would provoke heated opposition from the public. Since the League feared there would be no opportunity for public comment, a staff member came up with the idea of outflanking the MHRC by holding a press conference in a room next to the hearing at the Senator Inn in Augusta. The large room next to the MHRC hearing was already booked, so a smaller room was rented on a lower floor.
Hein's network of contacts paid off. Steve Martin and Jack McCarthy, who host the Aroostook Watchmen show on WBCQ, made the six-hour trek from Aroostook County. Paul Madore came in from Lewiston, and Pat Truman from nearby Hallowell. Madore, Martin, Pat Truman, Reverend Bob Celeste, and independent Congressional candidate Alan Lowberg all made statements to the press.
Lowberg presciently warned that the proposed guidelines were unconstitutional and would never be tolerated by the public, under any circumstances. Lowberg's observations on the legality of the proposed guidelines was later confirmed by a member of the Commission during the hearing.
Shortly after the hearing got underway, the fireworks started. At the back of the room stood gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage and a campaign advisor. Behind LePage was a row of men in women's clothing, looking much more prim, better coiffed, and more well-accoutered than their female counterparts seated in the audience. The line of overly-tall "women" stretched across the back of the room and poured out into the hall, where the cross-dressing men laughingly entered the ladies room one after the other.
As the committee members started to discuss how to proceed with the guidelines, the anger of the crowd boiled over. Reverend Bob Celeste stood up and angrily complained that the hearing was run by bureaucrats, and was closed to public comment. Jack McCarthy spoke from the floor, commenting on the complete absurdity and nonsensicality of the guidelines.
One committee member, Ken Fredette, stated that the Commission did not have the authority to issue the guidelines, and said that only the Legislature had the authority to do so.
After the angry comments from the floor, committee members quickly agreed that a decision on the guidelines should be deferred until after a public hearing. Several weeks later, the MHRC stated that the guidelines would be shelved indefinitely.
Hein's victory over the liberal establishment proved to be his Waterloo. The opposition to Hein did not come from the liberal establishment. Instead, it came from within the pro-family movement. His most ardent opponent was Bob Emrich, the leader of the Maine Jeremiah Project.
Emrich publicly opposed Hein's tactic of attending the meeting, and his comments sparked a heated series of emails on the subject. Since the Christian Civic League sees Emrich as the rising star of the pro-family movement, Hein was called onto the carpet.
Many insiders speculate that Emrich will eventually become the Executive Director of the League, and that Carroll Conley -- the current director -- is acting as a benchwarmer for the more popular and politically-connected Emrich.
Hein was told he could keep his job if he apologized to Emrich, which caused Hein, a devout Lutheran, many anguished moments as he pondered whether he should be faithful to his Christian principles or instead keep his job by confessing to Emrich. Hein -- the soul of honor -- resolutely refused to do so, and was given a final deadline for the apology. The deadline arrived, and the opportunity to make the apology was withdrawn, with no further discussion by the Executive Director.
Shortly thereafter, Emrich was made a member of the Board of the League. Hein refused to show Emrich the proper deference, and one afternoon in August, he was called into the office of the Executive Director and fired.
Immediately thereafter, the staff member who edited the online newspaper of the League was also summoned into the office of the Executive Director and told he would be let go, since he had said he would leave if the League unfairly fired Hein.
Emrich had previously referred to Hein and the staff writer as "the problems at the League." Conley, in a move that would make a Pharisee blush, called on a pastor to offer pastoral counseling to the staff writer, a man he had dismissed only hours before.
Since then, the trajectory of the League has been leftwards. Conley has privately advocated a dialogue on the subject of tolerance towards illegal aliens, and publicly called for "compassion" on the subjects of abortion and homosexuality. The new leftward trend is a reflection of Conley's commitment to social issues and his fondness for the "hipper" urban scene, which was also a factor in the dismissal of the ultraconservative staff writer.
A harbinger for the future of the League was the rejection of a radio script dealing with temperance, the founding mission of the League, in favor of a script for a Haitian adoption agency. More curious is the fact that Conley once expressed support for the principle behind the 2005 Sexual Orientation law, that is, equal rights for homosexuals in housing and employment. Conley now denies making the remark.
Another indication of the leftward trend in the League is the steady stream of fiscal conservatives, including House Minority Leader Josh Tardy, who meet with Conley at the League office in closed-door sessions. The true patriotic forces in Maine no longer visit the League, which is preoccupied with building bridges to fiscal conservatives, and courting the favor of the religious Left.
The story of the defeat of the transgendered guidelines is an important lesson for the people of Maine. Had the approach recommended by Emrich and Conley been used, it is very likely that the transgendered guidelines would now be law in Maine.
The success of the strategy adopted by Hein proves that change will only come when a few brave individuals step forward to confront a corrupt system -- a system which has as its ultimate goal the abolition of the family and the destruction of the nation.
Those who continue to support the system - or worse, pursue a liberal, urban agenda -- will only aid in America's decline. In the end, those who side with liberals and fiscal conservatives will achieve nothing, except to provide full employment for those who truckle to a decadent civilization and a corrupt and collapsing political system.
Unfortunately, some of the biggest dangers to pro-family movement these days are from within -- those who want to be moderate, polite, and not anger the Left by overtly challenging them. It may feel good, but it's a terribly losing strategy.