Peter Sprigg, a Family Research Council fellow from Montgomery County, argues in an op-ed that Maryland would be wrong to legalize same-sex marriage because it would diminish the institution's public purpose: encouraging procreation and the nurture of children by a mother and a father.

Letter writer  Lee Carpenter, an estate planning attorney from Baltimore, has a different take. He says gay marriage would not only ensure that all Marylanders are afforded key legal protections but says same-sex marriage would benefit the state by encouraging more gay couples to wed and live here.

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Besides gay marriage, we've gotten a lot of letters in the last few days about a federal judge's ruling against Baltimore's requirement that pregnancy centers post signs disclosing that they don't perform or offer referrals for abortion services. So far, the letter writers are unified in cheering the ruling.

On the editorial page, we take stock of three recent developments in traffic enforcement: studies showing positive effects of red light and speed cameras and Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to jack up fines for some offenses. Our take: Enforcement, not huge fines, makes our roads safer.

We also tackle the issue of how the Baltimore City Council fills vacancies, a big issue after it selected Agnes Welch's son to replace her when she retired. We say a plan being pushed by Council President Jack Young and Councilman Bill Cole to have a panel of community members recommend a candidate is an improvement, but that the idea of holding special elections deserves more consideration.

Letter writer Chris Blake agrees, saying special elections are the only valid way to fill a vacancy.

And be sure to vote in our poll of the day: Do you support the Baltimore police and fire unions' plan to picket a national convention of mayors in June to protest changes to their pay and benefits?

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