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March 4, 2011

Same-sex marriage bill heading to Md. House floor

The House of Delegates is set to debate next week whether to legalize gay marriage, after a sharply divided committee voted Friday in favor of the plan.

The measure, which has already cleared the Senate, lost the support of a co-sponsor but was saved from defeat by the committee chairman — who has long opposed gay marriage.

Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. did not explain why he voted to advance the bill, but House aides said the Prince George’s County Democrat wanted to see it moved to the 141-member chamber for a full debate.

Delegates are bracing for a discussion that could start as soon as Tuesday and span several days. The bill would repeal the provision in Maryland law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, which would allow the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

The 12-10 vote by the House Judiciary Committee came at the end of a week of fits and starts — and high drama, as several of the original 59 co-sponsors indicated they were having second thoughts.

The committee was to vote Tuesday, but two co-sponsors went missing. Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, said she withheld her vote that day to focus attention on city education funding and her own family law bill.

Del. Tiffany T. Alston said she needed more time to think. The Prince George’s County Democrat said she was weighing her personal belief in the right of gay couples to marry against the opposition of her church and the people she represents.

On Friday, she voted against the bill, saying, "For my constituents, no."

Before the final vote, Alston attempted to amend the bill to establish civil unions instead of same-sex marriage. The effort drew praise from Republicans on the committee, but criticism from her fellow Democrats. It failed by a single vote, one of five amendments to be batted down.

Alston, a freshman lawmaker, lashed out at House leadership, saying she had "received directions" not to try to amend the bill or vote against it.

Senate leaders have made it clear to House leaders that changing the bill as it passed in the Senate last week would doom it to eventual defeat in the upper chamber — a complication Speaker Michael E. Busch explained to fellow House Democrats at a meeting Tuesday morning.

In committee Friday, Del. Kathleen M. Dumais said leadership "allowed everyone to reach their decisions."

"No one’s arm has been twisted," the Montgomery County Democrat said, prompting the committee’s Republicans to erupt in laughter.

Del. Susan K. McComas, a Harford County Republican, called Alston "a profile in courage" for speaking out.

The bill's ride through the House already has been rockier than its 25-21 passage in the Senate last week, raising questions about its prospects in the full chamber.

One of the co-sponsors who expressed hesitation over the bill this week indicated Friday that he will support it so that voters can ultimately decide the issue. Del. Sam Arora voted in committee to send the bill to the floor.

"As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill," the Montgomery County Democrat said in a statement. He did not specify what those concerns are.

"While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say."

Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk. Opponents could then gather the roughly 55,000 signatures needed to petition the new law to referendum, where voters in the 2012 presidential election will decide whether to repeal it or leave it on the books.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:14 PM | | Comments (54)
Categories: 2011 legislative session, Same-Sex Marriage
        

Comments

This bill is gonna pass. 75% of the Senate is gay anyway....

This is ridiculous that this type of crap can make it this far in an American society of heterosexuals.. This is just wrong..

This is why the bill will pass in MaryLand: "Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder" - Michael Savage

Del. Arora is a "born again" fundamentalist who doesn't seem to understand (or believe) that there is a separation of church and state in this nation. (We are NOT a christian nation, despite all the prayers to the contrary). He campaigned strongly in favor of this bill. Supporters and donations were based on his promises to support it. But now, he flinches, most likely because of church criticism. And unlike other rights, now says same-sex marriage should be decided by the majority. What minority would like their rights decided by a group that is mostly opposed to their existence? His position is vile.

ps - Julie B. - There is no UPPER or LOWER chamber in Maryland General Assembly. What are you doing - channeling England???

So this is how our hard earned tax dollars is being spent. I want a refund.

I don't quite understand why this makes everyone so mad. No, not everyone has to agree with homosexuality as a life choice but no one chooses it. Before I had family members come out that they were gay, I probably wouldn't care so much about this passing but I want my family members to be treated equally. I also understand religion plays a lot into peoples choices on how they feel about homosexuality but I personally just wish we could all see each other as human beings and not look down on them because of who they love, if they choose looks different, they are a different color, etc. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is what is great about this country. I just wish eveeryone would think about how much they love their family...and if their loved ones were gay, wouldn't you want their happiness?

The Sun's constant coverage and headlining of this gay marriage fiasco is the last straw for me. I will never visit this newspaper's website again and will certainly never drop another nickel for a hard copy print edition.

It is a sad day in Baltimore whose only major news outlet has to force feed its viewers and readers with front page exposure of what should respectfully be relegated to the privacy of one's personal sex life/preference.

I have know gay men, have lived to see a childhood friend die of AIDS and have seen the devastating effects of the lifestyle on families.

I hold no singular hatred or animosity against a gay person. Let's face it, sin is sin (and I have done my share of it before I married my wife). But why does it have to be crammed down the collective throats of those of us who hold the lifestyle as unsanctioned in every possible dimension?

Politics and $$$$. This issue and how our politicians decide to vote has more to do with campaign contributions from religious institutions (Catholic Church, KOC, Defense of the Family, and on and on and on). They have the $$$ these weak politicans need to get elected and re-elected. If gays and gay organizations had the $$$ to pony up more, the votes would pour in for gay marriage. It is simple economics in the Land of the "Free" and the Home of the Brave!

All of Europe, Latin America, and almost all of South America and may other countries already grant gays and lesbians the right to marry - even South Africa does - yet here we are, the bastion of freedom and equality - America - falling way behind the curve... A sign of the times, that we're becoming less and less relevant on the worldstage... God job!

That's cute - Delegate Arora thinks it should be left to a vote? I wonder - as the son of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in 1970 from India - if he'd agree that interracial marriage should have also been left to a popular vote... I guarantee he wouldn't want his rights to marry outside of his race voted on...

The only "people of Maryland" this affects are the same-sex couples who want and deserve the same protections for their families as everyone else. Delegates who are complaining that they can't vote for it because of the "impact" it has on their constituents have it wrong. This bill would stabilize families headed by same-sex couples, giving them and their children the legal protections they need. It does not destroy families, it protects them!

@Colleen: How is it that when a gay person wants to marry, it's "cramming it down everyone's throat?" You yourself brag of being married. I don't want you cramming you sex life down my throat. I don't care if you are married and whom you sleep with. I wish you would stop talking about it. You're just trying to promote some twisted heterosexual agenda.

The government should just stay out of everyone's personal life. If it is going to grant benefits and privileges based on marital status, then it has to grant them to everyone equally. Otherwise, it shouldn't allow anyone to file joint tax returns or inherit property, or direct medical care, etc.

Uh excuse me footwork, I brag of being married? What are you reading? I never said anything about my being married and my being married has nothing to do with this topic. I am not gay myself but I have family members who I support in wanting the same rights as I have. I don't know what your comment is referring to because everything you said has nothing to do with my comment.

I am a gay 36 yr old who has lived in baltimore my entire life. I have been in a four year relationship now and will get married wheather here or somewhere else. What gets me is all I here is the sanctuary of marriage. Seriously how many politicians are married and either have girlfriends on the side or hire prostitutes. Get real I don't care what you do in your private life and don't ever want to know. So why are they so worried about what I'm doing. The state is going bankrupt and this I'd the main concern maybe it is time for real change in md.

Next thing you know we are going to let Protestants marry Catholics, Blacks marry Whites and God forbid, Jews marry Christians. What is this world coming to?

When is the bill banning divorce going to come up? That is what we really need, as heterosexual people have really screwed up marriage. More than half the people that get married these days cannot even stay that way. Straight people are pathetic and shouldn't even be allowed to marry. They ruin everything that marriage stands for.

See how easy it is to flip it depending on which side of the debate you're on?

If same-sex marriage bothers you, do not get married to the same sex. It is rather easy.

If you're focusing on a few lines of the Bible that may hint on the subject, why are you ignoring the rest of the Bible that instructs you not to judge, and to love everyone? A sin is a sin is a sin. In gods eyes, eating lobster is as big of a sin as anal sex.

After an irrational tirade about having to see actual news every day about major legislation that happens to be about gay marriage, Bond_Man say "I hold no singular hatred or animosity against a gay person." Do you even think about what you write?

I was talking about this issue with my family. I come from a conservative family where I don't think any relative, even cousins has ever been divorced. That's rare. None of my friends even can say that about their families.

But this statement ticked me off here on the website...
"those of us who hold the lifestyle as unsanctioned in every possible dimension"

My response is: HELLO! It's 2011!

Scientists have conclusively determined it's NOT a "LIFESTYLE" you buffoon and moron you, IT'S GENETIC FROM BIRTH!

I found out I had 2 gay relatives accidently. Even as conservative as I am (YES I EVEN REGISTERED AS A REPUBLICAN), I don't think think they should have lesser rights than the COMPLETE IDIOT who stated that quote above.

Call your house delegates, none stop, make their phones ring off the hook. Send them emails as well.

Tell them YOU support equality and gay marriage and to pass the bill the way it stands.

Trust me "NOM" has dug their claws in the area and they are doing just the opposite.

We must pull together and fight this wrong. We must pass gay marriage for this state.

Go online and find out who your delegates are and let them know what you want, "Yes for gay rights." Do it before it's to late.

LOVE>HATE. Looking forward to the day my state recognizes my marriage.

"This is ridiculous that this type of crap can make it this far in an American society of heterosexuals.. This is just wrong..."

Less than 50 years ago it would have read: "This is ridiculous that this type of crap can make it this far in an American society of whites.. This is just wrong..."

I'm proud Maryland is moving forward to support equal treatment of all Marylanders under the law. What a great sign of progress! Thank you to all the legislators who stood up for fairness.

We all need to stand on the side of love. Discrimination has no place in a civil society.

People who do not support ending the final form of state-sponsored discrimination are unreasonably intolerant. I would really like to hear a reason besides what the bible says why gays shouldn't be allowed to get married...

I AM AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN GOD ALLOWED FOR ME TO BE BORN THIS COLOR AND WHEN HE CREATED ME I HAD NO SAY SO ABOUT IT I HAD NO CHOICE. THE SAME WAY HE CHOICE A WOMEN FOR ADAM --ADAM HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. WHAT IS THE POINT? THE POINT IS YOU WHO ARE READING THIS MESSAGE DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE ON THIS EARTH GOD DID AND WEITHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT THERE ARE THINGS THAT GOD HAS CHOOSEN AND NOT YOU. NOT THE PEOPLE AND GOD DID NOT CHOOSE FOR MEN MARRYING MEN ETC BUT THAT IS WHAT THE PEOPLE HAVE CHOOSEN AND THE LOVING GOD THAT CREATED US ALL TOLD US THAT YOU CAN CHOOSE TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE IT'S UP TO YOU! AFRICAN AMERICAN --SPANISH AMERICAN ETC GOD HAS CREATED TO BE THIS WAY HE HAS NOT CHOOSEN FOR THE SAME SEX TO BE TOGETHER THAT IS WHAT SOCIETY HAS CHOSEN. LET'S MAKE RULES TO PROTECT PEOPLE IN SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS BUT NOT SAY OH THE WAY WE WILL PROTECT AND RESPECT THEM IS BY GIVING THEM A MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, BECAUSE THIS IS THE LIFESYLE THAT THEY HAVE CHOOSEN FOR THEMSELVES NOT GOD. BUT GOD SAID THAT IF THIS IS WHAT THEY HAVE CHOOSEN THAT IS YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT A CHOICE

"Real Minority",

First, stop shouting.
Second, learn to write a coherent sentence.
Third, God has nothing to do with this discussion. In this country, we have separation of church and state and marriage is really nothing but a civil contract between two people that carries with it a host of rights. Everyone should be treated equally under the law; therefore, gay people should get all the rights and benefits of marriage.
Finally, shame on you for thinking that you are so special that you deserve special rights denied to others. I would think a person who has been subjected to discrimation, as you indicate you have, would be more tolerant.

BTW, God says he is disappointed in you.

Are you people serious ? You people hide behind religion when it benefits you or you're cause other then that you could care less about it.
There are some who would say being gay is a choice well you could not be more wrong it's not a choice we don't wake up and say I think I'll be gay now. But as a gay man we are entitled to the same rights to marry who want and live our life the way we choose.

Cramming it down your throats? Seriously? Seriously? Who's forced anyone to read a news paper, or forced anyone to read a blog or watch TV? Is someone twisting your arm to attend all gay weddings? Is someone forcing you to come over to your gay neighbors dinner party....at gunpoint? Of course not, this "cramming it down our throats" is just a bunch of raving rhetoric and hand waving by an angry spoiled mob who has no logical argument as to why all law obeying tax paying citizens don't deserve equal rights. The United States is NOT a theocracy and never hase been. There is no one sanctioned religion or one "approved" God. We beleive in anything from Jahova, to Christ, to Buddah, to the baby jesus, Scientology, to Wicca, to the Midichlorians, and even nothing! Every oppressed minority has the right in the country to stand up and speak out for their rights. The common folk don't always have a sense of justice...if they did, we wouldn't need a justice system. The average person doesn't always know much about jurisprudence....as you can see, some people can't write a coherent paragraph. Most Flocks just follow the Shepherd...which may be less than worthy people like Maggie Gallagher or Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Baker. And First of all, there is no such thing as "gay marriage", there is only marriage. The state is not going to issue gay marriage certificates and straight marriage certificates...Just MARRIAGE Certificates. If there were gay marraiage and straight marriage, the straight marrieds would want the gay married people sitting in the back of the bus...am I right? The "majority" only looks out for it's own interest...THAT is why our founding fathers set up a REPUBLIC form of government that is guided by a constitution. A constitution which protects all it's citizens, including minorities - from the tyrannies of a majority...an often temporary majority. The so called "traditional marriage" majority is shrinking day by day....and THAT is what they are afraid of! This mentality of majority alwyas rules and is always right, is perpetrated....by THE MAJORITY. The Majority only has it's own self interest in mind. We all know that know rational argument can ever trump self interest, including the self interest of the majority. We ALL know that had our founding fathers subscribed to this fallacy of Majority is always right, majority always rules, majority is always just....if that was what our nation subscribed to...we know where we would be today. The "Majority" would have blacks drinking from separate but equal drinking fountains....though they'd still be property of whites. Women would be in the home, barefoot and pregnant, NOT out in the world working and voting....if the "Majority" had it's way. The US would all be whatever the "majority" faith currently is....what is that...Protestant Baptist?" So what if your particular religious text of choice says being gay is a sin...who cares? If we allow religious text to run our government and constitution....who's to say that a new majority in the future won't introduce Sharia Law, or Levitical law? What is so hard to understand about separation of Church and State? Allowing marriage equality for gay citizens will in no way affect the marriages of heterosexuals? Or will it? Will heterosexual people divorce...out of spite? If there are 20 couples on your block and 2 couples are gay....how will that affect the other 19 couples in the neighborhood? The majority can't tell you why so, they change the subject to "slippery slope"....We'll start having bigamy and polygamy next (Both are straight institutions btw). Really? Those are both illegal for all people. They'd have to get it all the way to SCOTUS...that' won't happen in our children's lifetime. If you want to talk slippery slopes.....how about the slippery slope of denying marriage equality to gays and lesbians. Then you stop us from having civil unions (as many states already have done), or domestic partnerships....then you make it illegal for us to have a private ceremony. Then you make it for us to sign any type of contract (as they're introducing in Utah) such as beneficiary designations or laws...slippery slope. Then you make it impossible for us to visist our life partner in the hospital (oops, that's always been the case until recently). Then you make it illegal for gays to co-habitate.. Then we slide further still down the slope..gays can be fired from work, (oops, that's already possible in most states) just for being gay. Then it becomes illegal for gays to be gay. Gays will then have to hide.Then anyone who insists on proclaiming to be gay will be forced to wear a pink triangle on his sleeve. Then all the homosexuals wearing pink triangles will be rounded up...."for protection" of the innocent heterosexuals.....this is a very slippery slope remember. Now we have to find an answer to the "Homosexual Question". What do we do with all these homosexuals that we have rounded up and concentrated into these camps? What is the next logical slip down the slippery slope? Who is going to pull the trigger or drop the gas pellets? Down the slippery slope. None of you Christians obviously. BUT you will supply the bullets, now with all your quotes about us being "sinners" who must be put to death. Who will cast the first stone?

Translation for all the flip floppers, especially those who originally co-sponsored the bill: "This all just got too haaaarrd. Give it to the people and let them vote on a civil right."

Profiles in courage? You decide...

NEVER has even one person who championed equal rights for all our citizens been on the wrong side of history.Well documented are the Southern Christian churches' resistance to emancipation on the grounds that it was against "tradition" and their reliance upon supposwed biblical justifications, such as the reference in Leviticus to priests having slaves. Shame on all those who claim to follow a christ! Same sex couples do not ask for you "sacrament" of Holy Matrimony; however, they have every right to demand that you step aside from the courthouse door so they can enjoy their constitutional right to equal protection.

I am personally ashamed that the American people are upset at the tolerance of gays in our country. I for one do not in anyway agree with Homosexuality, but i do believe that American was founded for freedom. It would be going against the purpose of this beautiful country to deprive men and women of their right to love. I also feel that the prejudice and hatred against these people is fundamentally insensitive and despicable. People should not have to deal with the pain of waking up every day to a hateful society. All those opposing this bill should be ashamed of yourselves.

Religious Zealots of 2011 America WAKE UP!!!!

Marriage and God/Church/Religion are in NO WAY connected in 2011 America and/or in 2011 US law, except in the MINDS of the crazy religious right wing. Our US laws make no connection between legal marriage and the sacrament of Holy Matrimony offered by a variety of religious organizations, do they?

It is 2011, and still so many US citizens have no real understanding of US history and why it was that so many of our "original" founding fathers came to this country... to ESCAPE religious persecution in homelands that forced them to believe as the State believed even if these beliefs were not shared beliefs.

The Religious Zealots of 2011 America are perhaps the ultimate hypocrites as they strive to FORCE their religious beliefs on all US citizens who do not share those same beliefs. On one of their hands, our Religious Zealots of 2011 America affirm the Constitution and the protections it affords them to practice their religion as they see fit, and to believe WHATEVER it is they believe. On their other hypocritical hand, they seek to force ALL others to conform to their specific religious beliefs.

What is wrong with this picture? Well, most of our mommies and daddies, mommies and mommies, daddies and daddies, and so on, taught us at an early age that you can't have it both ways. These same parents also taught us that "majority rule" is not always the right thing to do.

Therefore, I would ask the Religious Zealots of 2011 America to make a choice:

1) Do you want to be free in 2011 America to organize a church/building/assembly/etc. with others who believe as you do, without fear that the government will shut you down, or take away your right to assemble, or arrest you if you assemble? Choose this and you can neither be told what to believe NOR can you tell OTHERS what they must believe (I can believe that homosexuality is a sin; but I can't tell others that they must believe the same NOR can I tell them that they are not allowed to marry anyone they love).

OR

2) Do you want to establish a US National Religion (and just ONE) around which all of our laws, practices, etc. must conform and a religion that ALL US citizens must obey? Choose this and you can bind religion and law together. If the religion believes that homosexuality is against God's law, homosexuals can be arrested, convicted, jailed, executed, etc. "God' knows they would not be able to marry anyone they love.

Which is it? Because as Mommy and Daddy taught us, you can't have it both ways.

Do you also believe that issues of "beliefs" should be put to a "majority rules" vote? Before you say "yes," let's consider the ramifications of that answer. If the majority has the right to make all decisions by a vote at the ballot box, consider this issue and how you might vote:

You live in the State of Utah and a group of Utah citizens collects the required signatures to put the following State Constitutional Amendment on the ballot for the 2012 election:

All citizens of the State of Utah must belong to and be full and faithful members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. No other faiths are acceptable and no
citizen may opt out of belonging the State Religion.

As of 2007, 60.7% of Utahns are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The ballot measure passes by a vote of 51-49%. The next day, no one in the State of Utah who was not Mormon could get married, not could they hold a job, own land, etc. To be of good standing, all Mormons must tithe, or give 10 percent of their gross wealth to the church. Therefore, the State of Utah had the immediate right to attach the individual wealth of all believers and non-believers. I could go on and on.

I in no way am castigating the Mormon faith. I used Utah as an example because of the high % of state citizens who follow the Mormon faith. I could just as easily selected other parts of the country where one "faith" or another has more than 51% of the voting citizenry.

I thought I would try to appeal to the religious right in the post rather than "gin up" the left with arguments I know they already accept.

Religious Zealots of 2011 America WAKE UP!!!!

You people of religion and of the Church preach about religion & I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT THERE IS A GOD BUT SIN IS SIN! Sin is having sex before you are married, Sin is drinking alcohol, Sin is Smoking, SIN IS WHEN OUR PREACHERS TAKE OUR $ TO BUY NEW CARS & HOUSES... DO YOU THINK GOD WANTED YOU TO DO THAT WITH THAT MONEY THAT IS SUPPOSE TO BE A OFFERING TO GOD NOT YOU???? NO... and the list goes on & on. No one in this world is perfect & if you thought that you were then why do we all suffer sometimes? People who are perfect don't suffer. Alot of people disagree on homosexuality but did you know according to statistics over 60% of suppose to be straight women think of having intimacy with another woman???? Which means the other 40, 30, or 20% of women are suspect also. Heterosexuals who do not agree on Homosexuality need to be more open minded. There are plenty of lesbians or gay men who are very successful statistics prove over 60% which is more then half. Alot of people that comment make it clear on how they don't agree with homosexuality but they believe everyone should have equal rights... My question to you all is WHY ARE YOU TOTALLY AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY??? IS IT BECAUSE OF WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS? Honestly, As I listen to what my Ancestors say about the Bible & some of my own interpretation on & of the Bible thinks the Bible contridicts itself because "GOD SAYS COME AS YOU ARE"! This has many meanings to me & im sure alot of other people, such as "NO MATTER WHAT CLOTHES YOU HAVE ON, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR HAIR LOOKS LIKE, NO MATTER IF YOU ARE A DRUG ADDICT, NO MATTER IF YOU SUBSTAIN TO A LIFESTYLE THAT IS NOT COMMON". Open your eyes people because there is alot of other things people should not agree with besides HOMOSEXUALITY! I know individuals who HATE LESIBIANS & GAY GUYS but I think that those individuals are insecure with themselves. The things people should care about THEY DON'T. How could 2 delegates change their minds because of religion??? When I'm sure that they are not as godly as they want to appear to be. SIN IS SIN AND THERE'S NO WAY AROUND IT! In our society everyone needs to learn how to follow their hearts & not care what anyone thinks of them. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAME SEX MARRIAGE! MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE!

Why is the United States of America so socially backward? I used to love this country. But now...it's just full of right-wing religious tyrannical politicians who try to win the vote of their constituents by blocking homosexual marriage bills. This country is not the land of the free. It is the land of the heterosexual white man who votes Republican and attends church every Sunday. I think Canada has the right idea. Wake up people. It's 2011, not 1811.

Because you asked, Coady

I do hope this bill passes for the non-Christians of Maryland who have the right not to be oppressed by Christians through the state law. The Declaration of Independence cites pursuit of happiness, that is good enough for me. Gay people want to be happy, that is good enough for me. Seems a lot of people want them to stay miserable- open and shut issue.
Finito.

But because you asked, yes, the Bible is the entire reason people have issues with homosexual behavior. Leviticus and "do not lie with a man as a man lies with a woman..." Takes no imagination at all to imagine sodomy in bed. But I am straight and I am not trying to evade the issue.

Jesus did not come to take away the Jewish law but to fulfill it. (He was speaking to Jews. Refer to Leviticus above)

Many people would say the New Testament has changed that-- people eat pork, shellfish, wear blended cloth, and so on.

Read Acts 15:29. Paul narrowed down Mosiac Law for Gentiles to..... three things plus don't commit sexual immorality (NIV).

So you're stuck with 1 man, 1 woman, 1 marriage for life in either Old or New Testament. Oh well.

I know that a lot of people want to be both sexually active and Christian, and try to bend Scripture to fit that need. It is called rationalization in psychology. I don't rationalize because I don't need to violate Scripture.

Rationalizing gay sex in the Bible is out. Here are two choices.

1. Say you are not living the Christian life, and be free
2. Life the Christian life, but obey it

It must be very painful psychologically to have to bend Scripture to relieve that cognitive dissonance. But we who support the Bible can't let the religion be taken out of context like that.

All I can say to the legislators both Democrat and Republican that oppose granting Gays the same equal rights to marriage as hetero couples, you should immediately resign. Your constitutional duty is to uphold the Constitution and the Constitution very clearly demands equal rights for ALL citizens and seperation of church dogma from state, secular law. If you cannot do your constitutional duty then you have no right to be a legislator. You cannot pick and cjoose what Constitutional laws you will support and which you will oppose. Personal and religious prejudice are not allowable arguments for voting against Constitutional rights.

There is an important piece that I believe many have overlooked regarding same sex marriage. God designed family to have balance. The reason there is need for balance is because there some things that only a "man" by birth can give a child and "woman" by birth can give. Our homes are a mess and our young people are out of control because homes lack balance and if this same sex issue is passed you will see more messed up young people. God's design and His standard has not changed. Same sex marriage is wrong and it's immoral.

Rob,

My morality doesn't come from the supposed words of some character from a piece of historical fiction like yours does. My morality is about not harming others. In my morality, bigots like yourself are immoral.

@Rob - if you think "our homes are a mess and our young people are out of control" maybe it's because of the so-called balance of heterosexual parenting. Do you have a crystal ball that tells you it will be worse by allowing same-sex couples the same rights as hetero couples? If the rules and laws are the same for everyone, doesn't it stand to reason the results might remain the same? Kids are kids and parents are parents...just sayin.

@ Chris Marsh - as pompous and condescending as you and most of your comments appear, I do applaud your statement that Marylanders "have the right not to be oppressed by Christians through the state law." No one who claims to be an American should feel otherwise - whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or Atheist.
and
P.S. @Rob - God's "design" and "standard" are only as good as man's interpretations.

Amen to rob! You are so correct! Children don't need to be exposed to seeing two gay men in a household. Its sick and wrong. And for a kid to see two gay men or two gay women kissing is not good either. God says its wrong, and its WRONG! Amen to Rob! You are 100% correct!

And to the gays, why is it that rob is a bigot and he is saying what God says in the word, being gay is wrong and inmoral! PERIOD!

Well at least you admitted being gay is a sin because it surely is!! God says its wrong and its wrong! Why are you trying to rationilize something that is clearly wrong in the majority's eyes to make something right? If you are a man, what in the hell is it that makes you feel so good to want to date a man? And if you are a woman, what is it about a woman that gets your rocks off?? Come on now, civilization began with a MAN AND WOMAN!The stupid same sex marriage bill will hopefully fail or fail by the voters who will vote against the stupid dumb crazy bill!

mk you need to read from what anonymous posted for you!

Anonymous,

A. I'm not gay, but someone who opposes civil rights based on prejudice is a bigot.

B. Please tell me why I care what some imaginary character in a book of historical fiction says? I don't live by what Harry Potter says so why should I care what some imaginary guy named "God" says?

@unrest

That imaginary god you are referring too is God our father who is in Heaven and who created the world and universe! If the big bang did happen, someone had to make the big bag to come into fruition! You are really a lost soul! You sympathise with the gays and it seemingly you don't belive in God. Well you have that right though.

Oh and by the way the gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. No where in the landmarks of civil rights anything mentioned about gay marriage as a civil rights issue. Most ppl in this world are against the homosexual agenda!

blah blah blah - same old drumbeat - straights are better than gays, and are the only ones who deserve to be happy, because God says so. When's the last time God told you what message to deliver to the rest of us? Hopefully Marylanders are smart enough to think for themselves and not have Anonymous or Rob think for them. May God Bless You and forgive you.

Anonymous,

Your arguments assume an awful lot, but you don't have any solid ground to defend those arguments, just some silly book written by men who had an agenda. If "God" created the big bang, then who created "God"?

I'm glad you are proud to lump yourself with people like the President of Iran who is as anti gay as you. Maybe you would enjoy moving there so you can live in a theocracy like the one you would like to turn America into.

@mk and at unrest.

I wasn't saying the big bang theory, i was simply refuting what unrest was saying when he called god, imaginary. I was telling him that there is a God and the bible speaks of it. I know the bible is something that is foreign to you gays or gay sympathisers! For your information the majority of the world are against the gays and for example in california, prop 8, simply should had reminded you all that the voters there spoke out agaisnt gay marriage, just like hopefully the voters will speak out against gay marriage here in maryland. And lastly, i never said i hated gays, i hate the act, not the person. So come after me with some sense, not some BS you idiot!

Without gay people this world would be a very boring place.

The music would suck, the arts would lack in creativity.

People would be walking around in potato bags as clothes and all the fancy restaurants would close.

When will all "you people" realize that you already support Gays everyday.

Grow up, Gay marriage equality will happen and Maryland will be better for it.

anonymous,

Other than some book, you still have not proved to me there is a "God". I have read much of the bible and it really didn't do anything for me. Very repetitive and copies a lot from other mythologies that were written before it. I mean how unimaginative!? I prefer the way the story was told much later in Star Wars.

@ Anonymous- First of all, maybe if you educated yourself instead of thumping a bible you could write a coherent sentence. Secondly, and most importantly, couldn't the same "God's Word" argument be used to promote slavery? Beating women? Not eating shellfish? Not wearing blended clothing? At what point do you believe the bible is God's word versus just men writing stories and tales to control the masses in a time of upheaval? Third, I come from a homosexual home. I was raised by homosexual parents. I'm a successful, educated attorney here in Baltimore. My brother is in law school at the University of Michigan. We have both been raised to love your fellow man, something you obviously have not been taught, even when your religion proclaims to "love thy neighbor" you refuse. I'm married, my brother is engaged. In no way was our upbringing changed by being raised by two gay parents...I didn't get turned into one of them, as some of you preach will happen. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING would make me want to have sex with another man. Having gay parents didn't change that.

"So come after me with some sense, not some BS you idiot!" Thus wrote Anonymous
who claims to know the Bible and what God wants.

Anonymous, you claim to live as a Christian and believe what the Bible teaches. If this is so, what's with the "BS?"

What's with calling your fellow Christian an idiot?

My God, the one whose teachings I believe are captured in some of the Bible, does not believe as you do. He and his Son, Jesus Christ, taught people to love each other. You clearly have major anger issues.

Sadly, I too often find that folks like yourself who espouse their "Christian" beliefs the way that you espouse them, are usually what we like to call "dragging a cross." Definition - Deep down inside you are gay, you hate that fact and you do ANYTHING you can to cover it up. You live in a sad dark closet, and the only way you can make yourself feel better (other than hanging out in the peep shows) is to cast your hate on other gay people.

One other sad fact about your kind, you usually end up killing yourself instead of accepting yourself for who you are. I pray that this is not you.

Dear Anonymous...Come Out, Come Out, Wherever you are!

Woodie,

I'm with you, except I think he was calling ME an idiot, and I may be many things, but a christian ain't one of them, and that's something I am proud to say.

dont you dare talk about my man like that.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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