Friday, February 24, 2012

Maryland Eighth State for Same-sex 'Marriage'

The Maryland legislature has narrowly passed a so-called gay marriage law, which Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign, but residents will likely have the opportunity to negate the law in November, via a referendum backed by the Catholic church and evangelical Christians alike.

For background, read 'Gay Marriage' Bill Pushed by Maryland Governor and also read Governor's Wife Says 'Gay Marriage' Opponents are Cowards as well as Catholic Gov. Says Archbishop Wrong on 'Gay Marriage'

UPDATE 3/2/12: Governor signs legislation

UPDATE 6/7/12: "Gay marriage" law will be on November ballot

-- From "Maryland same-sex marriage bill goes to governor" by The Associated Press 2/24/12

"This issue has taken a lot of energy, as well it should, and I'm very proud of the House of Delegates and also the Senate for resolving this issue on the side of human dignity, and I look forward to signing the bill," O'Malley said in a brief interview after the Senate vote.

Opponents, though, have vowed to bring the measure to referendum in November. They will need to gather at least 55,726 valid signatures of Maryland voters to put it on the ballot and can begin collecting names now that the bill has passed both chambers.

Some churches and clergy members have spoken out against the bill, saying it threatens religious freedoms and violates their tradition of defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Leaders at the Human Rights Campaign, a group that joined a coalition of organizations to campaign for the bill, said they expect opponents will gather the required number of signatures.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Maryland Senate approves gay marriage bill" by Ian Duncan, Baltimore Sun 2/23/12

An amendment to the bill submitted by Republican Delegate Wade Kach means no same-sex marriages can occur in the state until the new law takes effect on Jan. 1. Kach voted for the bill, but he said the amendment would allow any referendum to take its course and provide enough time for any legal challenges to its result to be settled.

A similar effort to legalize gay marriage in Maryland failed last year after it died in the House of Delegates without coming to a vote. In July 2011, O’Malley, a Democrat, announced he would include a gay marriage law in his legislative package that would allow religious organizations to refuse to conduct same-sex weddings.

The other states that allow gay marriage are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York. Washington and Maryland would become the seventh and eighth if the referendum challenges failed. Washington, D.C., also allows gay

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Maryland Senate Approves Same Sex Marriage Bill" posted at WBAL-TV11 2/24/12

The Maryland Catholic Conference issued a statement shortly after the vote, saying the Senate rushed the bill through in 48 hours and described the bill's protection for religious organizations as "ambiguous" and "limited."

"Stripping marriage of its unique connection to parenthood erases from civil law the right of a child to a mother and father, and ignores an essential question of why government favors marriage between one man and one woman over all other relationships. That right was consistently ignored by proponents of the bill to redefine marriage, in favor of the claim that we must redefine marriage in order to provide legal protections to any two people who love each other. There are many ways to provide such protections; redefining marriage is not one of them."

"The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated -- voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds -- demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people. Every time this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage. When this issue reaches the November ballot, we are confident that the citizens of Maryland will join voters in 31 other states in upholding marriage between one man and one woman."

Cardinal Edwin O'Brien returned on Thursday to Baltimore after having been elevated to cardinal in Rome. His office released the following statement Thursday evening.

". . . Maryland's politicians unconscionably have chosen political expediency over the good of society -- the fundamental charge of their office -- by daring to redefine this sacred union between one man and one woman. Their action poses a grave threat to the future stability of the nuclear family and the society it anchors. The Archdiocese will continue to advocate for the preservation of both and will eagerly and zealously engage its 500,000 members in overturning this radical legislation, and will join with the hundreds of thousands of others in this Archdiocese and throughout Maryland in aggressively protecting the God-given institution of marriage."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read 14-year-old homeschooled girl receives death threats for defending marriage before Senate hearing