Maryland is my home. Who would want to live elsewhere? We are America in miniature with our mountains, farmland and beaches. Our citizens are welcoming from Street to Saint Mary's and Frostburg to Federal Hill.
That is why it is troubling to see neighbors battle against neighbors over the issue of Question 6. Some on both sides polarize their neighbors in an attempt to prove their side more worthy. I will tell you where I stand on the issue, but first let me share my beliefs, as I don't think Marylanders like me have had their voices recognized.
Thank God I can openly share my beliefs. I am grateful to live in America, where freedom of speech is upheld, and I am doubly grateful to live in Maryland, the Free State. I say thank God because I am a Christian. I was raised Lutheran but have been a member of the United Church of Christ over a decade. Regardless, the basics of Christianity are the same. I say the same because Christians agree with the basic premise of the Bible from John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." That's it. Simply stated, the gateway to being a Christian is believing in Jesus Christ as your savior. The Bible does not say, He gave his only Son, so that (only blond-haired, blue-eyed, male, six-foot tall, English speaking people) can be saved. The Bible is inclusive to all who seek.
God knows I'm lesbian; in fact, that is how He created me. He is one of many who never left my side during my own process of coming out. I prayed and talked with God about who I am, and He has been my rock. He also gave me a church home for my wife and me to get married, for our children to be baptized and for our family to worship.
The Holy Spirit does not discriminate. In fact, He is still calling more to come to Him, to speak, to pray, to gather and to fellowship. If we are the hands and feet of God, where are we going if we vote against Question 6? Won't we exclude our fellow citizens and our fellow Americans? Moreover, won't we exclude future Marylanders who may move to our state? Do we want to send a message that we discriminate?
Growing up I always felt at home here. My friends and I played for hours enjoying our adventures in Maryland summer sun. I knew that when I had a family of my own, there would be no question as to where I would want to raise them. I knew I wanted them to be able to experience the thrill of cheering for their home teams, Orioles and Ravens. I knew I wanted them to be able to taste authentic Maryland crabs. I knew I wanted them to be able to touch the beaches with their toes and view mountain vistas.
Please help me share another incredible Maryland experience with my children by voting for Question 6. Your vote will strengthen Maryland families and validate our nickname of the Free State for the new millennium. It gives me chills to think about the power our voices have on the cusp of history. Will you stand with me on the side of justice and equality?