Commissioners should rethink proclamation
Marriage as an institution does not need to be defended, because offering civil marriages to all Maryland citizens does not threaten marriage, it only enhances it by expanding an inherent civil right to a group of taxpaying Maryland citizens who have, for too long, been denied this right unfairly and unjustly.
As a Maryland citizen who supports equal civil rights for all Marylanders, I strongly support SB 116 or The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act which would end discrimination and permit gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license in Maryland. The legislation protects the rights of religious institutions to not offer marriage ceremonies to gay and lesbian couples if this conflicts with their religious views, so everybody wins.
We're all the same species, we're all tax-paying Maryland citizens, and we all inherently deserve the same basic human rights and dignities. As long as the state of Maryland is in the business of offering civil marriages to anyone, it should offer civil marriages to everyone. There is simply no good reason to continue to exclude thousands of loving and committed couples from the responsibilities and benefits of marriage.
The Commissioners' proclamation is misguided by unfounded fears and tired, outdated religious-based misinformation. Relying on religious dogma to explain one's unwillingness or un-readiness to extend equal civil rights to Maryland's gay and lesbian citizens amounts to intellectual laziness. It translates to letting someone else do your thinking for you, and it's an essential violation of the separation of church and state. I encourage the Commissioners to re-think their position on this civil rights matter from a strictly civil rights perspective, and support the passage of this important equal civil rights legislation.
In the Spirit of Liberty and Justice for All,
Timothy M. Hurley