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Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) speaking with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
In Maine, Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud is running for governor. He’s decided to respond to opponent-peddled rumors that he’s gay in the most public way possible, by penning an op-ed that says yep.
So I wasn’t surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay.

Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: “Yes, I am. But why should it matter?” […]

I write this now merely to let my opponents and the outside interests who fund them know that I am not ashamed of who I am. And if seeing someone from my background, in my position, openly acknowledge the fact that he’s gay makes it a little bit easier for future generations to live their lives openly and without fear, all the better.

Michaud is running against incumbent Paul LePage, who has a history of colorful statements and actions as governor. While Michaud did not directly accuse the LePage campaign of involvement with the “whisper campaigns,” it would not be out of character.

I can’t help but think his conservative opponents badly misjudged the times in which we live. They tried to peddle the notion that Michaud was gay: Michaud announced that he was. So … what now? Are they going to make something of it? In 2013? Really?

Michaud has already demonstrated his own character; it will be interesting to see how his opponents respond. If they’re wise, they won’t. But Paul LePage, in particular, has never, ever been considered to be a wise man.

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