Homosexual and Lesbian Relationships as Marriage in Maryland?
Opponents vow to bring measure to referendum in November
Homosexual and Lesbian unions are on the road to being given the legal equivalency of marriage in the State of Maryland after the legislature gave its final approval to a bill. It manufactures a legal equivalency between such relationships and marriage between one man and one woman. The bill will now be sent to Governor Martin O'Malley, who said he would sign it sometime next week. The state Senate voted 25-22 for the law, coming less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure.
This matter has not been put to a vote and has drawn strong opposition from Churches and Pro-Marriage and family groups in the State
The bill will now be sent to Governor Martin O'Malley, who said he would sign it sometime next week. The state Senate voted 25-22 for the law, coming less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure.
Maryland will become the eighth state to compel homosexual and lesbian relationships to be recognized as a marriage under State Law when O'Malley signs the legislation. The Democrat made the measure a priority this session after it stalled last year.
"This issue has taken a lot of energy, as well it should, and I'm very proud of the House of Delegates and also the Senate for resolving this issue on the side of human dignity, and I look forward to signing the bill," O'Malley said after the Senate vote.
Opponents vow to bring the measure to referendum in November. Opponents will need to gather at least 55,726 valid signatures of Maryland voters to put it on the ballot.They are apparently well on the way to achieving their goal.
Many churches, clergy, concerned citizens and Pro-Marriage and Family groups have spoken out against the bill because it undermines the truth about marriage and the family and society founded upon it. It is also a direct threat to Religious Freedom. The Catholic Church has taken the lead in the defense of marriage for what it is - a lifelong union between one man and one woman, open to the bearing and rearing of children.
The issue of giving a legal equivalency between homosexual realtionships and marriage has not been submitted to a vote. The opponents of the legislation signed by the governor insist that such a failure to allow a referendum of the people on this vital social issue is repugnant to representative democracy.
"The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated - voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds - demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people," Maryland Catholic Conference spokeswoman Kathy Dempsey said in a statement. "Every time this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage."
Leaders at the Human Rights Campaign, the leading advocacy group for the homosexual equivalency movement in America, supported the measure which compels the law to treat homosexual relationships as the moral and legal equivalent of marriage. They expect opponents to gather the required number of signatures.
"There remains a lot of work to do between now and November to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland," Joe Solmonese, HRC president said in a statement. "Along with coalition partners, we look forward to educating and engaging voters about what this bill does: It strengthens all Maryland families and protects religious liberty."
Senators did reject some amendments to the legislation. Proponents warned that amending the bill could kill it because gathering enough support for altered legislation in the House would be difficult.
Senators passed a similar measure last year by 25-21, but the bill died in the House after delegates rescinded their initial support citing concerns that it could violate religious liberties of churches and business owners who do not support same-sex unions.
Sen. Allan Kittleman, the only Senate Republican to vote in favor of the legislation says he is proud of his decision and not concerned about political consequences down the road. "You don't worry about politics when you're dealing with the civil rights issue of your generation," Kittleman said.
In every State that such an effort has been sumitted to the people for a vote, marriage as a union between one man and one woman has been upheld and protected.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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