We’ve got Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and the District of Columbia. Now we’re adding Maryland to our arsenal of states supporting marriage equality. While our supporters call it a civil rights issue, opponents say marriage should be reserved for unions of a man and a woman. Should. I love that people use that word to defend their political views. It should be this way and it should be that way…but according to whom? Even still, we made history today as Maryland signed a bill allowing gays and lesbians equal marriage rights, although it is not to take effect until January 2013.
The issue of legalizing gay marriage seemed so far from reality that I never imagined it would happen it Maryland. It was something that only seemed to occur in places occupied predominantly by hippies and college professors….places like Vermont and Massachusetts. (Although, in that case we should include Oregon in that list. Lol.) I truly never believed I would see gay marriage come to fruition in my home state. And it’s never felt better to be so wrong.
As you probably already know, Maryland’s Governor O’Malley signed a bill legalizing gay marriage today on live television. I became surprisingly emotional watching a mob of supporters cheer him on as he brought us another step closer to the freedom we deserve. While it was an encouraging to witness, it was also a reminder that we still have much work to do. The law won’t take effect until January 2013, which allows opponents plenty of time to petition it to a referendum on the November ballot.
Maryland was careful to avoid the debacle that occurred in California when they provided nuptials to hundreds of gay and lesbian couples before relinquishing those weeks later. Within the next nine months, referendum organizers in Maryland need to collect 56,000 signatures to bring the measure before voters; they are rallying support from churches, synagogues, and other places of worship opposing same-sex marriage as a matter of faith. Some pastors are even using their sermons to push the referendum during Sunday services. It’s disturbing that their political agenda is pushed to the top of the list of topics covered in a place of worship but this has become more of a competition in many ways than an actual assessment of what is fair and right.
Under the new law, religious groups are not required to provide services linked to gay marriage that may violate their beliefs unless they receive federal funding. Such protections are not just restricted to religious services linked to gay marriage, but they also extend to groups like the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic group) who typically rent meeting halls and rental properties for weddings and other celebratory events. What more do they want? I mean, really? No one is forcing, or even requesting religious support in regard to gay marriage.
I wonder why in the HELL these religious and political leaders care about gay marriage in the first place! Many of them claim to resent the word marriage in reference to homosexual relationships. It’s laughable really; when I waited tables throughout college, I had to “marry” the ketchup bottles at the end of my shift. I wonder if they realize that the word “marriage” does not come from the Bible, or the Torah, or the Quran…it’s not a word that God reserved to describe the impenetrable bond between a men and a women (impenetrable meaning for the next six months.) IT IS a word defined as two things closely connected, united, or combined to make one. It is perpetual ignorance that has allowed a small percentage of the population to sway the legal state of this Country based on this ridiculous idea that the word marriage originated in the bible or that it’s definitive function is allocated for sacramental purposes.
Yes, the word “marriage” has taken on a new connotation; in nearly every (incorrect) dictionary online, the first three or more definitions of the word refer to the matrimonial relationship between TWO PEOPLE. But honestly, the word originated to convey the act of combining two things together to make one. What more do you want? If the Church does not want to marry gays and lesbians because they want to remain ignorant and continue behaving like bigots (and Romans), fine. We don’t want you to marry us anyway!
Do these people really believe that GOD expects them to prevent us from participating in gay marriage? It’s a union recognized by the STATE. AND OF COURSE, it will be a union recognized by GOD, in my heart, within the confines of my love and my relationship…it is a special and honorable exchange between two people who love one another regardless of race, sex, social stratification….or for any other freaking reason…except perhaps political affiliation. Lol. Unconditional love is just that, unconditional. I’ve loved as unconditionally as I possibly could; although that love wasn’t returned unconditionally, I still learned that I am capable of loving another woman without fail… for the rest of my life. And when I do meet the woman GOD chooses for me to marry, I will commit my life to her undoubtedly, for the rest of my life, no matter the circumstances & despite outside interferences.
A coalition called the Maryland Marriage Alliance has applied to the state to lead the referendum push, and its director, Derek McCoy, has said he expects the group’s petitions will be pre-cleared by state officials for circulation by the end of this week. The coalition has already begun training outreach teams and are planning to work with churches to train pastors on the issue as early as Sunday. With all the sadness, hunger, poverty, hatred, and war happening around us, these churches are focused on preventing state executed marriages between gay and lesbian couples.
What does the court of law have to do with your religious preferences? Call it faith; call it a moral discrepancy; call it fucking lunacy. I don’t care….it’s not your business to call it anything at all. Go away.
Whether or not the state stamps a piece of paper and recognizes the legality of the union, a marriage is something that occurs between two people who devote themselves to one another and who profess that love and devotion before God. You can’t stop marriages from occurring, legal, illegal, religious, secular, acknowledged, unacknowledged, in Las Vegas, or in the freaking Vatican…it doesn’t matter. Devotion is devotion. If you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, great! I am all for it. So, why don’t we start by reaching out to the increasing number of heterosexual marriages that fail every year. There is no sanctity in a percentage that reflects a fifty percent divorce rate.
WHAT SANCTITY ARE YOU TRYING TO PROTECT? The heterosexual population has done a pretty good job of destroying their own sanctity. And let me just say, I was raised in a household with a mother and a father who have been happily married for 34 years. I admire successful marriages and I support increasing the number of successful marriages in the United States, in whatever way possible. But that just gives me one more reason to believe it’s absurd to focus on the gay population when the straight population is clearly suffering.
The sanctity of marriage is in dire need of protection, but not from the homosexual population. Take a look at these percentages according to http://www.divorcerate.org/.
- The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs. second or third marriage
50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.
- According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:
The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%
I respect the religious institution and I respect a person’s choice to practice his faith in any way he so chooses. I also respect the churches decision to reserve marriage for heterosexual couples. I think they’re wrong; I think they’re reading the text incorrectly; I also think that God creates gay people the same way he creates straight people and that He is on the side of what is right and true in this situation. But none the less, I think the religious institutions have every right to choose who they marry and why. But all of that is only applicable in the confines of their institution.
We will prevail eventually. Your children will raise children who are less hateful and less ignorant than you are and each generation is increasingly educated, which has and will continue to result in a leveling of equal rights among gays and straights as well as any other minority group being denied what is right and fair.
Republicans are pushing further and further to the right and as a result, they are also pushing the younger generations further and further to the left. With more people graduating from college and educating themselves on current affairs and politics, the republican party is slowly dying out, in its social views, anyway. And as a result, fiscal conservatism is also fading…which, in my opinion, is not a good thing for our economy. C’mon people. For the love of all that is sane and intelligible, stop trying to meet the quota of your political affiliation and do what is right and fair in each individual situation! It’s comparable to a news reporter or a writer. He or she cannot write about a topic as entirely good or bad; nothing in life is black or white. Without compromise, without a middle ground, there is no truth.
With that said, ‘give to Caesar what is due to Caesar and give to God what is due to God.’ If the state of the secular world constitutes fair and equal rights among all citizens, then so be it! It doesn’t impact anyone else’s faith or religious beliefs. It has nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich, or (thank God) Mitt Romney… none of those blubbering fools will suffer a single loss due to the legalization of gay marriage. It has nothing to do with them and it certainly doesn’t impact their lives in any way.
The Maryland Marriage Alliance represents nearly 3,000 churches and organizations statewide that would like to see voters decide against the gay marriage bill at the ballot box in November.
“All of those people, collectively, want to see the current definition of marriage upheld,” McCoy said. I wonder if McCoy plans to seek out each restaurant in the modern United States to prevent the “marriage” of food condiments and other such ingredients. I wonder if he will attempt to justify the origin of the word “marriage” or the verb “to marry” as a piece of linguistic history that must be stricken from the books in Western civilization to prevent future generations from questioning the absolute RIDICULOUSNESS that their coalition propagates.
Much like the response garnished by the “Mothers a Million” group (millions and millions of mothers…about four hundred thousand), the sane and capable, comprehensible and educated population of this great nation will scratch their heads in complete and total disbelief. The truth is, much of the anti equal marriage efforts are waged by a small population of predominately older, less educated, and inexperienced Americans who are still fostering beliefs they were taught as children and have never bothered to question throughout their adulthood. At one time, the world was flat and the idea that it might actually be round was so preposterous that any person who entertained that theory was treated like a lunatic. And now, hundreds of years later, there isn’t a single human being in this Country (hopefully) who believes the world is flat.
As for the equal marriage referendum, the opposition has to collect their signatures to put the measure on the ballot and even then, they have to win the majority vote to overturn the bill. That’s where you come in! Now, more than ever, we need to rally friends, family, and acquaintances to take the time to vote on the November ballot in favor of equal marriage. Every vote counts (particularly on the state level.) To come this far, to be fortunate enough to witness such a major change in the history of this nation… it is too incredible to let anyone come in and take it away.
For more information, you can check out the Marylanders for Marriage Equality Coalition at marylandersformarriageequality.org/. The Marylanders Coalition is countering the repeal effort and includes groups like the Human Rights Campaign, the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union, Equality Maryland and others who are working to build support for same-sex marriage.