Maryland was established on the principles of equality, religious freedom, separation of church and state, and creating opportunities for all to achieve economic self-sufficiency. No place is this more clear than at Historic St. Mary's City. St. Mary's City was the first city and capital of Maryland, the first successful proprietary colony in English North America, the first place freedom of religion was established in America, and also the first place to seek the separation of church and state in America. Historic St. Mary's City is situated right next to the school I call home — St. Mary's College of Maryland. It was on a recent trip to "Historic" that it struck me how much the state's founding values apply to Questions 4 and 6 on this year's ballot and how Marylanders should consider where our state came from — why and how it was established — as we vote.
We should consider our common civic identity as Marylanders more strongly than our individual, and at many times, fractious, identities: Catholic, gay, black, atheist, immigrant, and so on. Our historic heritage as Marylanders informs and unites us all. It is a heritage that transcends demographic divisions and self-interest. It would be in the best Maryland tradition to vote for Questions 4 and 6. Maryland is a state of firsts, a state built on strong principles, and a state unafraid to blaze new paths in pursuit of these ideals. Let's continue the great legacy of our state's progress together.
Andrew Reighart, Towson
The writer is president of the Student Government Association at St. Mary's College of Maryland.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun