Welcome difference

To the Editor:

A nonbinding resolution declaring Mount Desert a sanctuary community will be introduced for a vote at our annual town meeting on Tuesday, May 2.

Bar Harbor citizens will have an opportunity to vote on an identical resolution at their town meeting on June 6.

The resolution begins, “Whereas Mount Desert is a community known for welcoming people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities, and whereas its local economy is driven by this diversity, we formally declare ourselves a sanctuary community.”

There are several compelling reasons to support this resolution. For me, the strongest argument is one of conscience and the Constitution. These days, I am tired of being instructed to be wary and fearful of difference, and I need to speak out.

Each of the categories cited in the resolution, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, is a protected group and obligated to our protection. My not-too-distant ancestors found sanctuary from famine and persecution and became productive citizens of our country. Two of my neighbors hold green cards and are strong contributing members to our community.

I want my community to welcome difference, to come to terms with prejudice of all kinds and overcome it. I believe this is essential for true prosperity.

Mount Desert is working hard to revitalize our town. One solid way to accomplish this is to encourage the diversity that made America great in the first place.

Patty Ryan

Mount Desert

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