U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud has just announced he’s gay.
He’s also running for governor of Maine. His announcement came with this statement: Why does it matter?
A person’s sexuality is the most intensely personal aspect of one’s life. I guess it matters to some folks in Maine that the Democratic congressman is gay only because he bothered to announce it to the world. I guess there had been rumors swirling around the state about his sexual orientation. Michaud thought he’d clear them up, and clear the air, by coming out as he did.
The overarching question, though, for the Maine gubernatorial campaign and for voters is whether a candidate’s sexuality should matter on anything. Does it inform his views on most public policy, such as taxation, road construction, public education, the environment, protecting his state’s coastline … whatever.
These all are issues that governors and candidates for governor must face as they take their case before the voters. I’m unaware of the most personal aspect of a candidate’s life affects how he or she will act on any of them.