“There is no basis in nature for a right to sodomy,” Michael Heath told the Associated Press in March.

I assume monkeys, dogs and other animals known to engage in this practice will take note and reform their perverted ways.

But considering the source, probably not.

You may remember Heath as the ousted executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. He’s now one of the founders of a political action committee called No Special Rights and is campaigning against the same-sex marriage referendum on the November ballot. Except he doesn’t often refer to it as same-sex marriage or marriage equality or even homosexual marriage. Heath prefers to call it “sodomy-based marriage.”

“Sodomy” is the term used since the Middle Ages by puritans to label those varieties of sex they found objectionable. Which, with puritans, happened to be almost all of them. At one time or another, the word has been applied not only to anal intercourse, but also to everything from bestiality to mutual masturbation. In addition, a lot of god-fearing straight couples might be surprised to learn sodomy is generally defined as including any form of oral sex.

By the way, the word that puritans use as a euphemism for sex acts that meet with their approval is “love.” Which must be sort of confusing for folks who think that’s how they feel about their kids, their pussy cats or beer.

But back to Heath. He’s decided that those opposing the same-sex marriage initiative are a bunch of politically correct wimps, who want to run a campaign based on praising traditional values while ignoring what he calls on his blog the “sexual permissiveness agenda.” In an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News last month, he wrote, “Pro-family organizations in Maine are not defending marriage with this message. They are planning for defeat.”

Heath’s strategy is not merely to prevent gay men and lesbians from engaging in wedlock — and those other things they do. He wants to create a “God-honoring marriage culture” in which government has no role in deciding who can get hitched. That authority would be vested solely in churches. Which is odd, because there are plenty of churches in Maine that would be happy to marry same-sex couples.

Perhaps, Heath hasn’t thought this thing through quite as thoroughly as he should have.

Anyway, in the Heath alternative universe, there’d be no unseemly lust allowed. And anyone wanting a divorce would be told they should have thought of that before they said “I do,” because there wouldn’t be any way short of death to break that bond. As for Maine’s civil rights law that bans discrimination against people because of sexual orientation, Heath’s blog entries give the impression he may not be entirely in favor of retaining it.

“The so-called ‘gay’ movement is rooted in sorcery,” he wrote, “and it is a child of the devil, and an enemy of everything that is right.”

Which sort of hints at Heath’s real agenda. He doesn’t just want to defeat same-sex marriage. What he really wants is to roll back legal protections for gays and lesbians in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodation. If you think I’m exaggerating, consider this. In his op-ed, he claimed that if the November referendum is successful, gay rights activists will “drag caterers and photographers into court for refusing to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.”

For the record, caters and photographers fall under the public accommodation section of the current statute. They’re already prohibited from discriminating against potential customers because of, among other things, their sexual orientation. If the new law wins approval at the polls, it changes nothing in that regard.

Heath’s extreme stands on matters of sex aren’t new. It’s just that since he was eased out of his position at the civic league, he’s been less constrained in expressing them. In 2009, the last time the same-sex marriage issue was on the ballot, he was forced by more politically astute anti-gay crusaders, including members of the league board, to keep quiet, for fear his homophobic rants would alienate swing voters. Heath reluctantly did as he was told, but has obviously regretted it ever since — even though his side won.

This year, he’s not going to be muffled by what one of his online friends termed the “nicer than Jesus crowd.” Heath is going to say anything he likes, and what he likes the most is to claim the real issue in this campaign is homosexuality. He brags on his blog of his fearlessness in referring to his opponents as “perverted.” He terms the views espoused by a veteran gay rights activist as “queer nonsense.” And he aims to keep horny heterosexuals in line by reminding them that “sex outside of marriage is sin, and that it must be penalized.”

Supporters of marriage equality are going to love having Heath back in the game.

Did I say “love”?

I didn’t mean it that way.

I’d … er … like it if you emailed me at aldiamon@herniahill.net. Just as friends. No weirdos, please.