With Heath Gone, Maine Family Policy Council Seeks To Change Tone and Reputation

Last year, Mike Heath of the Maine Family Policy Council found himself being sidelined in the Religious Right’s battle against gay marriage in the state due to his penchant for saying ridiculous things.

As such, he announced that he was leaving the organization in order to go to Africa to distribute solar cookers, only to return a few months later as head of the American Family Association affiliate in Maine and launch a shockingly short bid for Governor.

And now that Heath has moved on, so too can the Maine Family Policy Council, which has announced a new interim president and executive director who sees his mission as undoing all of the embarrassment Heath caused the organization and changing its reputation: 

The Christian Civic League of Maine, recently renamed the Maine Family Policy Council, has announced a new interim president and executive director. Long affiliated with the Bangor Christian School, Carroll Conley of Glenburn will succeed Michael Heath of China, who stepped down last fall after nearly 20 years with the League. Conley believes it’s time the organization changed its tone.

“I’ve had a long interest and connection with the Christian Civic League and the League having a need for leadership,” Conley says. He says he’d like to change the reputation of the organization, which, under Michael Heath, has been a strong, and often controversial voice in state politics, working hard to ban same-sex marriage in Maine.

“There definitely needs to be a change of tone with the League,” Conley says. “What we’ve got to make sure that we do as folks that have anything attached ‘Christian’ to it, no matter how controversial it gets or no matter how passionate people may feel about something, that you have that weight and that responsibility to do it in a way that’s consistent with those values — not just the morality of the issue but in areas of respect and dissent.”

Conley says he hopes to strike a balance between the Council’s Christian social policies and a tolerance for opposing ideas, especially on the issue of abortion. He says the organization must show compassion toward those who are pro-choice.