SMCC students and faculty flew the flag Monday,October 21, 2019, at Portland’s First Parish Church in special ceremonies celebrating the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Maine State Constitution which was written in the same church in 1819, as a prelude to statehood in 1820.
Students from Prof. Adams’ POLS 115 class served as ushers, gathered and classified questions from the audience, and spent time interviewing members of the special panel addressing, “What Are Rights Worth?”
Panel experts included Dr.Donald Soctomah who is the Passamaquoddy Tribal historian, author Anne Gass, Attorney Marshall Tinkle, and Attorney Mary Bonato. Marshall Tinkle is the author of “The Maine Constitution,” published by Oxford University Press and Anne Gass is the author of “Voting Down The Rose,” the story of how Maine women won the right to vote in 1920, and is the great-granddaughter of Maine Suffragette leader Florence Brooks Whitehouse.
Attorney Mary Bonauto argued the 2015 case before the US Supreme Court that found same-sex marriage to be Constitutional.
“The 1819 Maine Constitution guaranteed more rights than even the US Bill of Rights ” said Prof. Herb Adams, who organized and moderated the event. “Every right is precious, and their meaning is still changing today.”
The SMCC Student Senate is planning campus events to explore the meaning of Maine statehood in 2020.