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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Update: Same-sex bill debate postponed

By John Wagner

Update, 10:45 a.m.: Maryland's same-sex marriage bill arrived on the House floor Tuesday morning, but before debate could begin, it was postponed until Wednesday.

House rules allow members to lay over bills for a day under certain circumstances. House leaders said they expect debate over proposed amendments to begin Wednesday, with a vote on the bill expected by Friday.

Original post:

With debate on Maryland's same-sex marriage bill set to begin as early as Tuesday on the House floor, six openly gay delegates are appealing to their colleagues in a new letter to pass the high-profile legislation.

"Colleagues, we need you," the letter concludes. "Please vote yes. ... Vote yes because you know it is the right thing to do. Vote yes because you want to stand on the right side of history. Vote yes because every family in Maryland needs the protections that marriage provides."

The bill, which would remove Maryland's requirement that marriage be between a man and a woman, has already passed the Senate. A House vote later this week is expected to be extremely close. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has encouraged the legislature to send him the bill, which he has pledged to sign.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

The letter, dated Tuesday, is the latest in a series of personal appeals from both sides that have shaped this year's debate over allowing gay nuptials. On Monday night, opponents of the bill crowded the hallway between the two legislative chambers, making their case to lawmakers to maintain "traditional marriage."

The letter from the six openly gay delegates says it is an attempt "to refocus this debate back to what this bill will actually do. Quite simply, it will secure for our families the protections that marriage - and only marriage - provides to loving and committed couples who have pledged to spend the rest of their lives together."

The letter also makes a case against civil unions as an alternative, saying: "Marriage equality is a far simpler and more powerful solution."

The letter is signed by Dels. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore), Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery), Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery), Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore), Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) and Mary Washington (D-Baltimore).

The complete text of the letter is below.

March 8, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

It will come as no surprise to any of you that this is a crucial week for the six of us. As you know, the House will soon consider the Civil Marriage Protection Act (Senate Bill 116), a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in Maryland. Importantly, it will also reaffirm religious communities' constitutional right to solemnize only those unions that fit within their faith traditions. First and foremost, we write to ask you - on behalf of our families and thousands of families headed by same-sex couples in our state - to vote yes on this legislation. Just as important, though, we are writing to refocus this debate back to what this bill will actually do. Quite simply, it will secure for our families the protections that marriage - and only marriage - provides to loving and committed couples who have pledged to spend the rest of their lives together.

The General Assembly will consider many other important bills and initiatives during this legislative session, but few will be as important to a group of Marylanders as the Civil Marriage Protection Act will be for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The estimated 15,600 families headed by same-sex couples in our state are remarkably similar to all other families. As anyone who attended the House or Senate hearing can attest, we come from all walks of life and reflect the great diversity for which Maryland is known. Same-sex couples live in every single one of Maryland's counties. Fully one-fifth of LGBT families include children under the age of 18. Our households are financially interdependent in ways that any couple in the state would recognize. We are proud to live in Maryland.

Our families need the same protections because we face many of the same challenges. We stretch our paychecks to put food on the table, keep a roof over our children's heads and plan for emergencies. We struggle with the skyrocketing costs of health care, college tuition, and gas for our cars. And though we shoulder many of these same responsibilities, we cannot count on the same kind of safety net should life throw more at us than we can handle.

Marriage is at its best and most effective during some of life's worst moments. The protections it affords to families are especially crucial when one's spouse is in the back of an ambulance, or rushed into emergency surgery, or dies unexpectedly. For us, as for all of Maryland's families, a marriage license will mean far more than the paper on which it is printed. For us, it means the possibility of shared health insurance, more stable homes for our children, and fewer conversations about legal documents with attorneys. We would never want the responsibility of voting on you and your spouse's will, power of attorney, or advanced medical directive, but you've been put in that position this week for our families. We have faith that when faced with the option, you will vote to allow same-sex couples the opportunity to fulfill the commitments of mutual support and shared responsibility that we have already made to one another and to our children.

You will hear arguments during the course of this debate that, in our opinion, distract from what this bill does and what our conversation should be about. On the one hand, some proponents of marriage equality will speak of the recognition and respect that marriage confers on a relationship. Though this is undoubtedly true, we cannot legislate what is, at its core, a matter of the heart. We certainly seek to be thought of as any other family, but what is more important - and what is actually at stake with this bill - is that we are treated as any other family by the state and its laws. And on the other hand, some opponents of marriage equality will change the subject and seek to debate "the definition of marriage." But not only does this bill not affect any couple already married in Maryland, reframing the debate abstractly distracts from the very tangible protections that we seek for our families.

There will also undoubtedly be a debate about whether the state could design some institution other than marriage. We believe that any attempt to create a separate set of rules for our families will be far more complicated than ending the exclusion of our families from marriage and inevitably lead to unequal treatment. In the decade since civil unions were first created, this belief has been borne out by experience. Before Vermont passed marriage equality legislation, their civil union law was explicitly limited to not include all the protections of marriage. And in New Jersey, despite the promise of equal treatment, many private employers have declined to offer health benefits to the civil union partners of their employees. Marriage equality is a far simpler and more powerful solution.

We understand that for many of you this will be a close call and a tough vote - personally, politically, or spiritually. We know that for many of you with LGBT family members and friends, it is an issue as personal as it is for us. For those of you who have committed to supporting the Civil Marriage Protection Act, we thank you and ask you to stand strong with us. For those of you who are not yet sure if you can support us, what we ask you for is the opportunity to talk face-to-face about the challenges our families face and how this legislation will help us meet them. What we ask is for the opportunity to protect our families as you would protect yours. Thousands of families headed by same-sex couples need your vote on this legislation. Colleagues, we need you. Please vote yes on Senate Bill 116, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. Vote yes because you know it is the right thing to do. Vote yes because you want to stand on the right side of history. Vote yes because every family in Maryland needs the protections that marriage provides.

Your colleagues,

Luke Clippinger

Bonnie Cullison

Anne Kaiser

Maggie McIntosh

Heather R. Mizeur

Mary Washington

By John Wagner  | March 8, 2011; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  !Issues, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Comments

Do the right thing Maryland-give all of your citizens full and equal rights.

Posted by: soccerhead | March 8, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Right side of history? All of history in effect says that marriage between a man and a woman.

These legislators need to stop expecting everyone to endorse their lifestyles and get back to work on jobs,national security, health care, immigration enforcement, etc.

Posted by: Burg2009 | March 8, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Right side of history? All of history in effect says that marriage between a man and a woman.

These legislators need to stop expecting everyone to endorse their lifestyles and get back to work on jobs,national security, health care, immigration enforcement, etc.

Posted by: Burg2009 | March 8, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The Post has not given readers the governor's enlightened evolution toward supporting marriage equality in just four short years.

Worthy of a story. Wag the Gov.

Posted by: tcs1999 | March 8, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Go Maryland, "This is awesome news."

Marriage equality for all is what I say. It's only going to make Maryland stronger and better.

Stand up and vote Yes and be on the right side of history.

Posted by: hotfuzz | March 8, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I heard "NOM" pays people to go online and submit nasty hateful comments on articles that support gay rights and equality.

Be careful what you read here, it just might be a paid advertisement for "NOM's" agenda.

Gay rights for all, marriage equality for all. Stop the hate now.

Posted by: hotfuzz | March 8, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

How about us Muslims who love our camels. When do we get justice. And, we promise not to apply Sharia Law to female camels.

Posted by: fregameeate | March 8, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@burg2009 who contends that All of history in effect says that marriage between a man and a woman.

______________

Your take on history is plainly incorrect. In the wide scope of history (and even down to today in some societies) marriage included one man and several women.

I am not arguing for polygamy, just telling you that you are wrong on your historic facts.

The phrase "right side of history" is based on the envisioning of the future, one that in words Martin Luther King, Jr. observed bends toward justice.

When I was young, people thought it was wrong for interracial marriages. They were on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: TerrenceDoyle | March 8, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Please pass on to our Maryland delegates, and ask them to read plenty on both sides before voting. The following mostly represent my side. Please see book reviews on Amazon.com

Selected Books on Homosexuality

1. Out From Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, by Dawn Stefanowicz, Nov 2007, http://www.dawnstefanowicz.com/

2. Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture,

3. A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, by Nicolosi and Nicolosi, 2002

4. Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate, 2000,

5. You Don't Have to Be Gay, by Jeff Konrad, 2000

6. Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems by George A. Rekers, 1995
A description is at: http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/uhr/022702.shtml

7. Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children & Adults, by Zucker & Bradley, 1995

8. Healing Homosexuality, by Joseph Nicolosi, 1993

9. The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, by Michael Fumento, 1990, 1993.

10. Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study, by Irving Bieber et al, 1962, 1988

11. The Homosexual Matrix, by C. A. Tripp, 1987

12. Straight: A Heterosexual Talks About His Homosexual Past, by William Aaron, 1972

13. One in Twenty, by Bryan Magee, 1968

14. What Every Parent Should Know About Homosexuality, by Peter & Barbara Wyden, 1968

21 books cited in Joseph Nicolosi’s 2003 book,
A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality

1. Love Won Out by Anne Paulk
2. Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents by Kenneth J. Zucker
3. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach by Joseph Nicolosi
4. The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality by Richard Green
5. Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family & Friends Can Respond
by Anita Worthen
6. Growth into Manhood: Resuming the Journey by Alan Medinger
7. Take Off the Masks: The Classic Spiritual Autobiography:
Revised With a New Epilogue by Malcolm Boyd
8. Una Pizca De Prevencion by Don Schmierer
9. Presentations of Gender by Robert J. Stoller
10. Sex and gender (The International psycho-analytical library)
by Robert J Stoller
11. Growing Up Straight: What Every Thoughtful Parent Should Know About Homosexuality, by Peter Wyden
12. Focus on the Family: Study Guide by James C. Dobson
13. Making Us Crazy by Herb Kutchins
14. The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry
(Social Problems and Social Issues) by Herb Kutchins
15. Breaking the Surface by Greg Louganis
16. Bringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson
17. My Genes Made Me Do It! by Neil E. Whitehead
18. Homosexuality and American Public Life by Christopher Wolfe
19. When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False by Steven Goldberg
20. What's a Father to Do?: Facing Parents' Toughest Issues
by Don Schmierer
21. Leonardo da Vinci by Sigmund Freud

Posted by: MustDoTheHomework | March 8, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@burg2009 who contends that All of history in effect says that marriage between a man and a woman.

______________

Your take on history is plainly incorrect. In the wide scope of history (and even down to today in some societies) marriage included one man and several women.

I am not arguing for polygamy, just telling you that you are wrong on your historic facts.
____________________________

You know, anybody can suggest that the definition of marriage can be changed to anything we like.

After all marriage is a social institution that any society can make into anything that society desires.

However, to keep denying that the core of marriage is in one way or another a man woman relationship only makes you look like a radical ideologue willing to eschew reality to make your case.

Anyone who denies that the core of marriage has always in the West been male female union is denying reality.

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 8, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"opponents of the bill...making their case to lawmakers to maintain 'traditional marriage.'"

Funny how "their case" can never be explained, anywhere in the press.

Not much of a marriage to begin with, if any man or any woman needs to tell others who to marry.

Coincidence? : opponents of marriage equality in the news along with Muammar Gaddafi.

Posted by: ldfrmc | March 8, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@captn_ahab who observes that After all marriage is a social institution that any society can make into anything that society desires.

---------------
Here we go with another NOM talking point.

To clarify terms, the Maryland General Assembly is debating civil marriage and amending the current law on civil marriage does not change the core definition of marriage. It expands the right of marriage to same-sex couples. This does not change the definition of marriage any more than expanding who could vote to women, African-Americans, or people between the ages of 18 and 21 changed the definition of voting, another civil right.

Posted by: TerrenceDoyle | March 8, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

hotfuzz,

The funny thing is that all these bizarre and offensive NOM comments are completely counterproductive. As Senator James Brochin showed, the unhinged rhetoric from the other side actually pushes people to support same-sex marriage once they see what drives its biggest opponents--bigotry and hate. It's tough to read but keep the mean stuff coming, boys and girls.

Posted by: boomer400 | March 8, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@ terrencedoyle:

"To clarify terms, the Maryland General Assembly is debating civil marriage and amending the current law on civil marriage does not change the core definition of marriage. It expands the right of marriage to same-sex couples."
____________________________

Actually, what Maryland is doing is changing the definition of marriage as it has been understood through history by most cultures to enable same sex couples to access the benefits of marriage in the state of Maryland.

Mr. Doyle seems to take a view of the definition of marriage to allow him to equate marriage with voting.

Neither skin color nor gender has ever had anything to do with the definition of voting. Restictions around voting according to gender or skin color were ammended to the definition.

Unitl the near present the gender of the participants to a marriage has always been the core of marriage.

You my friend are in denial....

Bring on the referendum....

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 8, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

MustDoTheHomework:

Good lord, your list of "essential" reading is completely out of date. The most recent "scientific" study you cite is from 1995. That was 16 years ago! And your most recent "source" is a book by a woman who had a horrible upbringing at the hands of a gay father and a straight mother -- yet puts all the blame on the "homosexual lifestyle." What a crock.

The fact is that no reputable recent study has demonstrated any measurable difference between children raised in straight families and those raised in same sex families.

Regardless of one's religious beliefs, "marriage" has enormous civil consequences (both rights and responsibilities), from the financial to the emotional to the practical. There is no, repeat no, appropriate basis for restricting those rights and responsibilities to only those couples that this or that religious viewpoint deems "appropriate."

Allowing same sex marriage is the only decent, appropriate and lawful way to go. If your religious viewpoint doesn't agree with same sex marriages, your church is free not to do them, not to recognize them and not to allow same sex couples to be members of your church. But you have no right whatsoever to impose your religious views on the rest of society, and your attempt at providing "scientific" support for what is really an artifact of religious and cultural bigotry is just so much claptrap.

Posted by: jsmdlawyer | March 8, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

What MustDoTheHomework lists are mostly books from the early days of the gay liberation movement (books published in the late 1960s and early 1970s), which represent a very outdated view of gay life. Many of those books touted the then-held view that homosexuality was a psychological problem worthy of shock treatment, isolation, and loads of therapy. And though s/he states that the books represent "both sides", the list is skewed toward those who are known to hold deep anti-gay biases.

Posted by: luv2bikva | March 8, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!

@MustDoTheHomework

Those book are so completely discredited sources that they are truly no more than a joke! Take the one authored by one George A. Rekers for example. Go ahead and google George A. Rekers. You will learn that he has been exposed as a fraud and faker and in fact was caught going on a European vacation with a "rentboy" gay escort.

Seriously, dude, you need to just get over the fact that gay people have walked among us since the dawn of time and are as naturally a part of humanity as everyone else AND therefore MUST be afforded the same full access to the fundamental civil right of marriage.

Posted by: Len_RI1 | March 8, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

MustDoTheHomework: Besides the fact that your sources are outdated (from the 50's-70's), based on hate groups like FRC and Focus on the Family, let's examine why they aren't scientifically valid.

One of them references the Spitzer study related to reparative therapy. This study was proven to be false and peer-reviewed by hundreds of scientists.

spitzer's study was peer-reviewed, and these were the conclusions "Two years later, the paper was peer reviewed and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.[2] The publication decision sparked controversy and one sponsoring member resigned in protest. The paper has been criticized for using non-random sampling and poor criteria for success.["

(Replace *** with www)
***.religioustolerance.org/hom_spit.htm

More on spitzer, and look at that, all the religious affiliations! Again, come back with some credible scientific evidence and maybe we'll start taking you seriously.


more on spitzers reparative therapy

(Replace *** with http)
***://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/HTML/facts_changing.html


Come up with some actual current research not based on hate-groups, that haven't been debunked by the scientific community. Your links have been proven to lack credibility.

Posted by: shadow_man | March 8, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
***.gaychristian101.com/
***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

Posted by: shadow_man | March 8, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

(Change *** to www)
***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ
***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.


And it should also be noted that:
"It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association."

Posted by: shadow_man | March 8, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

Posted by: shadow_man | March 8, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

Posted by: shadow_man | March 8, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@capn_ahab on my comparison between civil marriage and voting.

A right is the exercise of a freedom. It carries with it responsibilities and may in turn involve privileges and protections. Exercising a right is an action.

You are confusing the Agent who performs an Act with the Act. You thus argue that marriage is defined by the agents who perform it.

When we expand opportunities to additional people to exercise a right--whether it is voting or participating in civil marriage, the exercise of the right is not changed. We have simply expanded the circle of those who bear the responsibilities of the right and expand upon those who are covered by its protections.

The only change that will occur for heterosexual partners is the opportunity to say that they alone are entitled to such a right, and in turn the temptation to assume that their worthiness to exercise a right makes themselves intrinsically superior.

Posted by: TerrenceDoyle | March 8, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I could not be more proud of Maryland for standing up for full equality for all her citizens. Its amazing the courage to do the right thing these elected officials are showing. Homophobia is no excuse to deny tax paying citizens the right to marriage. Gay Americans didn't ask to be gay but were born gay simple as that. To deny gay citizens full equality is just wrong for whatever reason.

Posted by: JLTT | March 8, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Marriage in the US is firstly civil and contractual. Period.

So the marriage cops should retire and play some golf or bingo in the Potomac.

Cheers, Joe Mustich,
CT Justice of the Peace, USA

Kudos to CT for coming to its senses about SSM since 2008....and we're the land of the Puritans, but we grew up, and so can MD.

Posted by: cornetmustich | March 8, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@capn_ahab on my comparison between civil marriage and voting.

A right is the exercise of a freedom. It carries with it responsibilities and may in turn involve privileges and protections. Exercising a right is an action.

You are confusing the Agent who performs an Act with the Act. You thus argue that marriage is defined by the agents who perform it.
________________________________

In the case of marriage as we have known it, the act is defined by the participants,
i.e. registering and legitimizing the sexual union of a male and a female by the state.

Somehow you have deconstructed the freedom, such that it exists separate from the participants that defined it throughout history.

In that way, marriage has historically been a different act than voting.

We can deconstruct marriage to construct the new right of same sex marriage, but that changes the core of marriage, as most cultures have understood it throughout history.

You are confusing your desire for same sex marriage with how marriage has been historically defined.

In fact, in our legal system the states can have legitimate interests in priviledging some relationships above others for rational reasons. You can look at the state Supreme Court decisions in NY, NJ, WA, and MD concerning same sex marriage.

Now in MD the citizens may decide to change the definition of marriage. That is up to the people and their representatives.

This would provide Marylanders with a completely new right, that may or may not exist in other states and amy or may not be of benefit to other states.

A new right is different from existing civil rights with historical and cultural antecedents. There are none in the past for same sex marriage.

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 8, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

A high impact societal experiment without going through IRB (#1)

1. The building cells of a society are families. Although there are laws regulating each individual in the society it is no doubt that family play a key role to support and stabilize a society like the foundation of a house.
2. Blood relationship has been the fundamental rule to form a family. A mother will love a child, who came out of her own womb, with a selfless sacrificial love that the bonding is unimaginable for outsiders. A person only when being loved by such kind of sacrificial love can grow up with real self confidence feeling her- or him- self is worthy. In the adulthood, stress may come like flood. A person that has been loved such kind of love will sustain and even when the outside world is tumbling she/he can stand the pressure and continuously contribute to the society to make it a better place to live. Although majority of us never appreciate the important role the blood relationship play, it has been there and up to now is still there sustaining the society and continuously making our society a better place to live.
3. The bill brought to the table is not simply only about “Two people with the same sex love each other and would like to get their marriage right”. It is a full package that will include children and fundamentally change the structure of a family. In the new family structure, it is likely family members will be living together with no blood relationship. The impact of such a cell structure change although will not immediately pop up to the surface since it is happening in the foundation level. However, it will be significant and will have long lasting effect to the society.
4. With the change of the family structure, the first impact we can foresee is that the output (children) from a family (the cell) will be different. How much different, it is unknown at this moment. This is a societal experiment we are setting up today without going through initial study or internal review board (IRB) to obtaining minimum understanding what we are getting into and checking and weighing the benefit and cost of such an experiment.

Posted by: trc202 | March 8, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

A high impact societal experiment without going through IRB (#2)

5. What are the impacts to the community? There are certainly many worries in people’s minds. Where this is going to lead to and where the boundary will be when the flood gate is opened. For example, two men form a family and adopt a little girl. When the girl grows up to 16-18 she becomes women. If somehow the chemistry inside one of the man changed and he would like to become bisexual, after multi-years cultivation relationship and emotional linkage, the young woman also feels the best man is her father. She wants to marry one of the fathers. There will be another bill like today’s one on the table discuss about legalizing father-daughter (or mother son) marriage. Some may argue this will never happen since real homosexual will not be attracted by opposite sex. This could be true even though it depends on how the circuitry in the brain is affected by the surrounding chemistry and aging effects. However, would father-son marriage or mother –daughter marriage sound less dramatic so they are more acceptable?
Some may feel the above example is too extreme and is diminishing homosexual people. I apologize for that but still need to point out what people are worrying about and cover the ground of possible future developments. The very fundamental issue is that once the flood gate is open, there will be no legal base to reject the followed development it could get to the level debating legalizing human-animal marriage. Where is the boundary?
6. Addressing long term effect, it will take a while for society to find what kind of deep impact this bill is leading to. As indicated earlier, the nature bond through blood relationship is vanished when the family structure is redefined. The generation of kids growing up without experiencing unselfish sacrificial love and with much less real self-confidence starts to feed into the community, the management level, the decision making positions. That moment we are going to see the impact of this experiment. In the animal world the lead male in a pack will eat or kill those youngsters that are not of its own offspring. In human society we have laws to protect the youngsters. However, the law cannot force parents to love kids from the bottom of their hearts. It has to come from the blood relationship the nature bond will force the eagle father and mother to go out looking for food to feed the kids even when they are so tired and they are hunger themselves.
The society is a living organism. A family is the fundamental cell of the living organism. When the cell structure starts to transform, when the house foundation starts to change, the stability and the support of the society will eventually experience the real impact. This is no doubt a high impact societal experiment. Delegates: you are making a history here. The decision could be irreversibly affecting to our society.

Posted by: trc202 | March 8, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

To burg2009 - "All of history says marriage says marriage is between a man and a woman" you say?

Not so. There were two Roman emperors who were married to same sex partners. In fact, gay marriage was legal in ancient Rome until 342AD when the marauding Christians passed a law to end gay marriage.

As for having the legislators "do t

Posted by: MatterOfThought | March 9, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Finishing prior comment -- as for having the legislators do their job, they are. They are upholding our constitution, which requires equal application of the law to all. That includes marriage laws.

Posted by: MatterOfThought | March 9, 2011 6:52 AM | Report abuse

To MustDoTheHomework - What a biased list of readings.

Dobson is fervently anti-gay and will twist everything to suit his agenda.

In fact, most of those works are by agenda-pursuing purveyors of hatred, bigotry and discrimination.

Curiously, you included a Sigmund Freud work -- but withheld from us his finding that homosexuality is normal.

Posted by: MatterOfThought | March 9, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

To trc202 - Gay marriage in Maryland is not a social "experiment"

Gay marriage has been legal in The Netherlands for a decade. Has hetero marriage been harmed? No. Actually, it has been strength end. The divorce rate actually fell.

Gay marriage will soon mark its 7th anniversary in Massachesetts. Has hetero marriage ceased? Has the family crumnled?

You're shrieking baseless hysteria, contravened by the facts.

Posted by: MatterOfThought | March 9, 2011 7:08 AM | Report abuse

To trc202 - Gay marriage in Maryland is not a social "experiment"

Gay marriage has been legal in The Netherlands for a decade. Has hetero marriage been harmed? No. Actually, it has been strength end. The divorce rate actually fell.

Gay marriage will soon mark its 7th anniversary in Massachesetts. Has hetero marriage ceased? Has the family crumbled? No.

You're shrieking baseless hysteria, contravened by the facts and real-world experience.

Posted by: MatterOfThought | March 9, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

trc202: Lol, and where is your scientific proof of all these claims? Notice how your side can never provide proof of how gay marriage ruins families, especially since gay marriage has no impact on what a straight couple does.

Posted by: shadow_man | March 9, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

"There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

Posted by: shadow_man | March 9, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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