8:00 AM EDT, October 14, 2012
After reading "Gallaudet official suspended for signing anti-same-sex marriage petition" (Oct. 11) I was troubled on two fronts.
First, if Angela McCaskill signed a political petition in her own time and made no overt political stance in the workplace, then her rights are being violated by the university. It's pure and simple. Regardless of how inane one may find her politics to be, she's entitled to believe anything for any reason and to participate in our democracy accordingly.
My second point of contention, and one I find substantially more troubling, is the subversive nature of many of those who are opposed to marriage equality, most noticeably Maryland Marriage Alliance's Executive Director Derek McCoy, who is quoted in this article. As was to be expected, he claims that religious liberty is under attack. This tired tactic is a calculated and conscious effort to mislead voters and direct them down a path of religion-fueled hysteria.
A portion of Question 6 reads, "protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith." This is an explicit protection of religion!
As one can plainly see, the law would simply grant equal civil rights to same sex couples. This proves that the righteous and pious Mr. McCoy is in direct violation of another tenet he most certainly holds dear: the 9th Commandment, which reads, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," or voter, in this case. Furthermore, such arguments based in perverse religiosity should alarm all of us as members of a thoughtful, free-thinking society. We, as Americans, are entitled to worship Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Zeus, Punxsutawney Phil, or no god at all. But one's intensely private and personal decision about their faith, or lack thereof, has no place in public policy making.
Finally, I can say with supreme confidence that I made no conscious choice to fall in love with and marry my wife. To claim that a person can choose whom they love violates the very principle of the emotion. It seems that those of an obstinate religious persuasion should refocus their time and effort on combating poverty, spousal abuse (a reality that manifests itself only in the "infallible" confines of traditional marriage, by the way), or other problems with real human victims, instead of obsessing to an insane degree over the private sexual behavior of consenting, law-abiding adults. Affirming Question 6 is our moral responsibility; one that I fear is lost on many others for less-than-rational reasons.
Patrick G. Muth, Bowleys Quarters
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