Most election cycles voters are faced with various questions and referendums when they enter the voting booth. I write today highlighting one of the most important and controversial questions that Maryland voters will have the final say on. Question 6, The Civil Marriage Protection Act, will be one with which many will struggle.
As a life-long Republican, I wholeheartedly support the passage of this measure. Some may feel that it is contradictory to be a staunch Republican who supports marriage equality. It is not. I became a Republican because I believe in limited government, both in our citizen's wallets and in their private lives. Today, a growing number of Republicans and conservatives alike are endorsing civil marriage equality. Dick Cheney, Laura Bush, Clint Eastwood, Grover Norquist, Theodore B. Olson, David Frum, Margaret Hoover, Ken Mehlman, and Mary Matalin have all been vocal proponents. In Maryland, a group of Republicans in favor of Question 6 has been very active.
At a time when divorce is more and more common, who are we to look down upon two people who want to create loving, stable, two-parent homes for children to grow up in? How can anyone say that a child is better off living in an orphanage as opposed to having two caring, albeit same-sex parents? We, as a society, should celebrate when two consenting adults make a life-long, loving commitment to each other, not forbid it. In today's world, there is hardly such a thing as a "normal" family. Allowing same-sex marriage will only strengthen the institution, not destroy it.
I agree that no religious institution should be forced to recognize or perform these marriages, as this would go against the very core of our Constitution. However, the Declaration of Independence clearly states that citizens have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are a country founded on freedom, and if I may borrow former Vice President Cheney's line, "freedom means freedom for everyone." This is a civil issue, not a religious one.
In closing, while I respect the opinions of those on the other side of this issue, (many of whom are very close friends), I ask that you join me in casting your ballot in favor of Question 6. This Republican and many others will proudly be voting for Gov. Mitt Romney and Question 6 in November. This is an idea that's time has come. Look past the party line and consider this a human issue, not a partisan one.
David Karl Schoenbrodt Myers, Ellicott City
The writer is vice chairman of the Howard County Republican Central Committee.