The debate over the definition of marriage has unfolded across America and at the federal level for the past several years. Only after extreme and unusual pressure, and by the narrowest of margins, did Maryland’s General Assembly pass a bill redefining marriage. Now, special interest groups and big money from Hollywood and the Big Apple are trying to keep their new definition of marriage from being repealed at the ballot box by ordinary Marylanders.
What is this really all about? How does it affect society and what is at stake in the outcome of this legislative fight?
Many people mistakenly believe that proposals to allow so-called “same-sex” marriage are about allowing a new, different and separate form of marriage to coexist alongside traditional man/woman marriage. They envision it as a different expression of the same marriage institution they have always known.
However, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the legal issues involved in the debate. What is at stake in this debate are two competing definitions of marriage. One definition – advocated by same-sex marriage supporters – would define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender, with the law treating the parties’ genders as irrelevant to the meaning of marriage. The longstanding definition, which is reflective of the collective understanding of virtually every nation throughout recorded history, is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Under the law, one definition of marriage would not exist alongside the other. Only one of the competing definitions of marriage would legally exist. As noted in a scholarly review published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “…once the judiciary or legislature adopts “the union of any two persons” as the legal definition of civil marriage, that conception becomes the sole definitional basis for the only law-sanctioned marriage that any couple can enter, whether same-sex or man-woman. Therefore, legally sanctioned genderless marriage, rather than peacefully coexisting with the contemporary man-woman marriage institution, actually displaces and replaces it.”
The Threat to Marriage
The definition of marriage in Maryland is under attack because of the Legislature and Governor O’ Malley’s support for the Civil Marriage Protection Act, a bill that redefines marriage by allowing same-sex marriage in our state. Thanks to the thousands of signatures of Marylanders, the issue will be brought to a vote on November 6, 2012. Voters must vote AGAINST Question 6 in order to preserve marriage as the union between one man and one woman in Maryland.
If Question 6 is approved, same-sex marriage will be legal in Maryland.
Marriage Would Be Redefined For Everyone
Contrary to what some people think, same-sex ‘marriage’ would not exist in the law alongside traditional marriage; as if it were a different expression of the same marriage institution they have always known. Marriage will be redefined for everyone. Our historic understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman would be replaced by a new paradigm for marriage as the union of two people, regardless of gender.
Genderless Marriage the Only Legally Recognized Definition
This new, redefined version of marriage as a genderless institution would be the only legally recognized definition of marriage in Maryland. Such a radical change in the definition of marriage will produce a host of societal conflicts that government – exercising its enormous enforcement powers – will have to resolve.
Not a “Live and Let Live” Issue
Legal experts on both sides of the marriage debate agree that the issue has profound impacts on society. Scholars from some of the nation’s most respected law schools have written that the issue implicates a host of issues, ranging from religious liberty, to individual expression of faith, to education and the professions.
Racists and Bigots?
- Those who do not agree with this new definition of marriage as a genderless institution existing for the benefit of adults will be treated under the law just like racists and bigots, and will be punished for their beliefs. This is already occurring elsewhere:
• Nonprofit groups are faced with abandoning their historic mission principles in order to maintain governmental contracts (for things like low-income housing, health clinics, etc.)
• Whenever schools educate children about marriage, which happens throughout the curriculum, they will have no choice but to teach this new genderless institution. In Massachusetts, kids as young as second grade were taught about gay marriage in class. The courts ruled that parents had no right to prior notice, or to opt their children out of such instruction.
• Wedding professionals have been fined for refusing to participate in a same-sex ceremony. Christian innkeepers in Vermont and Illinois are being sued over their refusal to make their facilities available for same-sex weddings despite offers to refer the couples to other providers and in spite of the deeply-held religious views of the inn-keepers. The outcome in Vermont? The innkeepers will no longer accept any wedding-related events. Surely a big blow to their income – and to their religious freedom.
• Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other licensed professionals risk their state licensure if they act on their belief that a same-sex couple cannot really be married. A counselor, for example, could not refuse ‘marriage therapy’ to a same-sex couple because she doesn’t believe in gay marriage. She’d put her licensure at risk.
Those people – a strong majority of Maryland voters – who believe that gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against as individuals simply because of their sexual orientation, but who also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, would be the legal equivalent of bigots for acting on their heartfelt beliefs. Refusal to accommodate and recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ would be the equivalent of racial discrimination. Not only will the law penalize traditional marriage supporters, but the power of government will work in concert to promote this belief throughout the culture.
The Needs of Children Take Second Place to the Desires of Adults
Perhaps most importantly, redefining marriage shifts the focus of our marriage laws away from the interests of children and society as a whole, and onto the desires of the adults involved in a same-sex relationship resulting in the most profound long-term consequences. Such a paradigm shift says to children that mothers and fathers don’t matter (especially fathers) – any two ‘parents’ will do. It proclaims the false notion that a man can be a mother and a woman can be a father – that men and women are exactly the same in rearing children. And it undermines the marriage culture by making marriage a meaningless political gesture, rather than a child-affirming social construct.
The Deconstruction of Marriage
An example of how redefining marriage contributes to the deconstruction of marriage is its provision decreeing that ‘husbands’ can be women and ‘wives’ can be men. Any person with an ounce of common sense knows this is not true!
When marriage ceases to have its historic meaning and understanding, over time fewer and fewer people will marry. We will have an inevitable increase in children born out of wedlock, an increase in fatherlessness, a resulting increase in female and child poverty, and a higher incidence of all the documented social ills associated with children being raised in a home without their married parents.
Ultimately, we as a society all suffer when we fail to nourish a true, thriving marriage culture founded on the truth experienced by virtually every civilization in every nation since the dawn of time – marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Consequences of Redefining Marriage
Below is a full list of sources to specific examples of consequences that have occurred once marriage has been redefined as a genderless institution.
Religious groups who have refused to make their facilities available for same-sex couples have lost their state tax exemption.
• June 8, 2012, Zenit.org, Christians Pay Consequences for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage
• January 13, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com: Judge Rules Christian Facility Cannot Ban Same-Sex Civil Union Ceremony on its Own Premises
• September 18, 2007, The New York Times: Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue
• September 18, 2005, LifeSiteNews.com, Knights of Columbus Challenged by Canadian Lesbians for Refusing to Rent Hall for ‘Wedding’ Reception
Religious groups like Catholic Charities in Boston and Washington DC have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission based on their religious beliefs, or acquiescing to this new definition of marriage. They have, for example, been forced to close their charitable adoption agencies.
• September 10, 2012, CBS Boston, Gay Couple Sues Worcester Diocese For Refusing To Sell Mansion To Them
• September 14, 2011, CitizenLink.com, IL Christian Foster Care Group Loses State Contract
• June 3, 2011, Chicago Tribune: Catholic Charities in Joliet, Peoria Opt Out of Adoptions
• May 31, 2011, Associated Press: Rockford Diocese Ends Adoptions Over Gay Rights Law
• February 17, 2010, CNA, Same-sex ‘marriage’ law forces D.C. Catholic Charities to close adoption program
• March 10, 2006, Catholic Online, Boston’s Catholic Charities to stop adoption service over same-sex law
Nonprofit groups are faced with abandoning their historic mission principles in order to maintain governmental contracts (for things like low-income housing, health clinics, etc.)
Whenever schools educate children about marriage, which happens throughout the curriculum, they will have no choice but to teach this new genderless institution. In Massachusetts, kids as young as second grade were taught about gay marriage in class. The courts ruled that parents had no right to prior notice, or to opt their children out of such instruction.
• January 09, 2012, TheBlaze.com: New Sex Ed Standards Call for Homosexuality to be Explained to 5th Graders
• October 16, 2011, LA Times, hard copy, How to Teach Gay Issues in 1st Grade?
• October 13, 2011, LifeSiteNews.com: It’s the Law- Grandfather Worries Pro- Homosexual Curriculum will Confuse Granddaughter
• June 9, 2011, LifeSiteNews.com, Toronto School Board- Parents Cant Opt Kids Out of Pro-Homosexual Curriculum
• May 28, 2011, Fox News Video, Gay Activist Defends Mandatory transgender Training in Oakland Elementary School
• May 26, 2011, EdgeontheNet.com: First Graders in SF Learn About Marriage Equality for Harvey Milk Day
• May 25, 2011, Fox News: Transgender Clownfish? Gender Diversity Lesson at California School Riles Critics
• March 28, 2011, Advocate: U.K. Equality Watchdog Recommends Asking Kids If They’re Gay
• November 17, 2010, Pacific Justice Institute Press Release: East Bay City Debates Pro-Gay Film for Elementary Students
• December 7, 2009, Citizen Link: CA Principal Apologizes for Homosexuality Workshop
• May 27, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle: Alameda School Board Adopts Respect- Gays Class
• November 1, 2008, Fox News, School Clams Up on Gay Pledge Cards Given to Kindergartners
• October 22, 2008, WND: School Holds Surprise ‘Gay’ Day for Kindergartners
• April 20, 2006, Baptist Press: Mass 2nd-Grade Teacher Reads Class ‘Gay Marriage’ book, admin backs her
Wedding professionals have been fined for refusing to participate in a same-sex ceremony.
• October 22, 2012, TheBlaze.com, Lesbians Launch Discrimination Complaint Against NY Farm Owners for Refusing to Host Their Gay Wedding
• August 24, 2012, CBS News: VT Inn, 2 Women Settle Gay Marriage Lawsuit
• July 19, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com: Christian B&B Owners Ordered to Pay Gay Couple $4500 in Damages
• November 12, 2011, KCCI.com: Wedding Cake Battle Brews Between Couple, Baker
• October 20, 2011, LifeSiteNews.com, Elderly B&B Couple Still in Limbo After Refusing Lodgings to 2 Homosexual Men
• September 23, 2011, LifeSiteNews.com, Homosexual Couple Prepares to Sue Two Illinois Bed and Breakfasts
• August 23, 2011, Associated Press: VT Inn Denies Discriminating Against SSM Reception
• August 22, 2011, Los Angeles Times, N.J. Bridal Salon Slammed for Refusing to Sell Gown to Lesbian
• July 20, 2011, ABC News: ACLU: Wildflower Inn Sued Over Refusal to Host Gay Wedding
• July 19, 2011, Associated Press: Lesbian Couple- VT Resort Barred Reception
• February 23, 2011, NBC Chicago: Gay Couple Files Discrimination Complaint
• January 19, 2011, ABC News: UK Couple Wins Hotel Case
• January 01, 2011, Christian Post, Court- Canadian Commissioners Must Wed Gay Couples
Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other licensed professionals risk their state licensure if they act on their belief that a same-sex couple cannot really be married. A counselor, for example, could not refuse “marriage therapy” to a same-sex couple because she doesn’t believe in gay marriage. She’d put her licensure at risk.
• August 22, 2012, The Foundry Blog: New Mexico Photographer’s Religious Freedom Case Goes to State Supreme Court
• July 16, 2011, Christian Broadcasting Network, Religious freedom in England Gay Man Tricks Christian Therapist
• January 11, 2011, Christian Post, Court- Canadian Commissioners Must Wed Gay Couples
• December 16, 2009, Christian Post: U.K. Court Rules Against Christian who Refused to Conduct Gay Ceremony
• March 16, 2009, Hartford Courant: Florists Can’t Discriminate Against Gay Couples
• August 19, 2008, Metro News-Enterprise: S.C. Reverses Ruling in Lesbian Artifial Insemination Case
• May 28, 2008, ABC News: ‘You Can’t Opt Out of the Law Because of Your Religious Beliefs,’ Says Lambda
• August 3, 2007, USA Today: Doctors Accused of Using Faith to Violate gay Bias Laws
Those people – a strong majority of Maryland voters – who believe marriage is between one man and one woman, would be the legal equivalent of bigots for acting on their heartfelt beliefs. Refusal to accommodate and recognize same-sex “marriages” would be the equivalent of racial discrimination. Not only will the law penalize traditional marriage supporters, but the power of government will work in concert to promote this belief throughout the culture.
• March 28, 2012, Christian Concern, Christian Doctor Sacked Following Prayer E-mail
• March 12, 2012, The Blaze, British Christians Fight for Right to Wear a Cross at Work
• November 17, 2011, National Post: Damian Goddard Sportsnet Firing Tests Religious Freedom, Free Speech
• October 24, 2011, Fox Nation: Man Demoted for Not Backing Gay Marriage
• October 14, 2011, The Catholic Review: Advance of SSM Deepens Concern for Religious Liberty
• November 13, 2011, World Net Daily: High Court Considers Barring Christian Foster Parents
• February 16, 2009, Fox News: Student Sues L.A. College Over Right to Give Anti-Gay Marriage Speech
• December 11, 2008,, BW City Paper: Op-Ed, Gay By Force
• July 17, 2008, National Review Online: Gay Abandon: Must we give up our First Amendment liberties?
• June 17, 2008, Christian Science Monitor: Gay marriage: a new bind for church groups
• June 24, 2007, Washington Post: Speech Police, Riding High in Oakland
• June 24, 2005, WND.com: Allstate Terminates Manager Over Homosexuality Column
Frequently Asked Questions About Question 6
What is Question 6?
Earlier this year, the legislature passed and the Governor signed The Civil Marriage Protection Act redefining marriage for all Marylanders, legalizing same-sex marriage in our state and stripping the roles of men and women from marriage making it a genderless institution. The Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of pastors, community and faith groups, and citizens, has qualified a referendum to allow voters to decide if they want this legislation to take effect. On November 6, Marylanders have the opportunity to vote AGAINST Question 6 and preserve marriage as the union between one man and one woman. If Question 6 is not voted down same-sex marriage will be legal in Maryland beginning January 1, 2013.
How Should I Vote if I believe Marriage Should Only Be Between a Man and a Woman?
To preserve traditional marriage in our state as the union of one man and one woman you must vote AGAINST Question 6.
Do not be fooled. A FOR vote is a vote to legalize same-sex marriage so you will want to make sure you vote AGAINST Question 6.
Why has virtually every society throughout history defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman?
The answer can be summarized in one word: children.
Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance. After all, government does not license or regulate any other form of intimate relationship – not friendship, or dating, or cohabitation. People are free, under the law, to live as they choose, cohabitate with whomever they choose and engage in sexually intimate relationships with whomever they choose – all without any governmental recognition or regulation.
Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has said that marriage is, “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race.” The noted British philosopher Bertrand Russell (hardly a conservative – Russell was a liberal anti-war activist and socialist) said, “But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex…It is of children alone that sexual relations become of importance of society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.”
Isn’t same-sex marriage a civil right?
No. Gay activists have worked hard to compare the same-sex marriage movement to the civil rights movement. The reality is that during the Civil Rights Movement African Americans were literally being dragged from their homes and murdered. They were denied access to education, health care, jobs and even the freedom to come and go as they pleased. The comparison is actually offensive.
Gay activists are claiming anti-discrimination because they believe that every adult citizen should not be denied the right to call something what he or she wants to call it.
Aren’t opponents to same-sex marriage on the wrong side of history? – Why not?
Proponents of gay marriage want you to believe that public opinion is moving in their favor. That simply is not true. As people across the nation are given the opportunity to vote on this issue, they vote to protect the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The only time marriage is redefined is when legislators or activists judges redefine it.
Aren’t you just trying to legislate morality?
All laws are based on society’s moral codes. However, the fundamental issue is a distinction of difference not a distinction of value. Marriage by definition means a relationship with one man and one woman. Just because people are in a committed sexual relationship does not give them the right to redefine the institution of marriage. Marriage cannot be arbitrarily redefined to suit the whims of any group of consenting adults who want to change the definition. If the definition of marriage is fundamentally changed who is to say that Polygamy or any combination of consenting adults in committed loving relationships can’t call their union a marriage.
Isn’t this just a Republican issue?
This is a great myth propagated by the other side to divide and alienate. We are Democrats, Independents and Republicans, representing many faiths and none, spanning generations and ethnicities from every corner of the state.
Will my child be taught that gay marriage is OK if same-sex marriage is made law?
In states where the definition of marriage has been redefined, academic instructions are beginning to change to reflect the law. In some cases the change is so drastic that middle schoolers and teens are being taught about the details of homosexual acts.
Can I stop? same-sex marriage from being implemented in Maryland?
Yes. Vote AGAINST Question 6 and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.