Recently, gay marriage advocates attacked Chick-Fil-A’s rights to opinion and free speech; but this crowd has displayed a history of holding to a double-standard for free speech, as was shown in their 2009 attack against a disagreeing High School teacher.
Don Mendell, a School Counselor at Maine’s Nokomis High School, had provided 36 years of exemplary service to his students and vocation, for which he was nominated to be the district representative for Maine Teacher of the Year.
All of this appreciation for him and his service, though, seemed to quickly disappear in 2009 when he stood up for marriage.
Some time earlier in that school year, Sherry Gould, a gay activist and English teacher at the same school, did an ad for a gay marriage campaign that was taped inside the school of her employment. This ad featured such points as the right to willfully raise children without the benefit of a father. It was then that Mr. Mendell was approached by supporters of Maine’s Referendum 1, that sought to strike down a law for gay marriage in the state. He agreed to be featured in an ad for this purpose that, unlike Ms. Gould’s ad, was taped off campus in a private studio. His ad was done from the perspective of the “rights of children to have an opportunity to be raised by mom and dad.”
Within weeks, complaints were launched against him, and gay marriage advocates filed formal charges against him in an attempt to strip him of his professional license. As a result, the Maine State Board of Licensure then investigated him for competency to practice social work and went on to report their findings before the school board. Their allegations were based only upon the ad and his failure to “put rainbow signs up around his office, etc.” and not upon any legitimate claims against him or his job performance. Many of Mr. Mendell’s colleagues also turned on him; he was denied committee assignments, and he was essentially fired by way of transferring him from school to school at a rapid pace.
In assessing what he has observed throughout his unfortunate experience, he stated that “For me the most disturbing and shocking thing is how quickly people can turn away from what I believe is written inside of all of us, regardless of any religious beliefs or anything like that, as human beings, that mother, father, and child is something that’s unique and can’t be duplicated in other ways, and marriage between a man and a woman is the seal, society’s seal, [of a family unit]. I’ve heard it called the gold standard, and I’ll stand by that, too.”
Well said, Mr. Mendell, and rest assured that many of us will stand with you in standing by that gold standard of marriage as it has been and should continue to be.