Yesterday, Marylanders voted on two ballot initiatives of critical interest to Catholics. And while, gratefully, Marylanders did vote to uphold the DREAM Act, it is of grave concern to us that the law redefining marriage narrowly passed. The Catholic Church in Maryland had advocated for the DREAM Act and against redefining marriage because we believe these positions reflect what’s best for children, young people, and the future of our state.
Regrettably, Marylanders decided by the narrowest of margins not to repeal the law that redefines marriage. The ballot language they encountered masked the fact that this law does not simply assign civil benefits to gay and lesbian couples, but drastically dismantles in our state law the fundamental family unit of mother, father and child. The people of Maryland were promised that this law would protect religious institutions and individuals who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and we will remain vigilant in ensuring that those promises are upheld.
The decision of the people of Maryland to uphold the DREAM Act reveals what can be achieved when voters are able to learn the plain facts about an issue. The partners in the Educating Maryland Kids coalition worked tirelessly within our churches, our schools, and our workplaces to make sure Marylanders understood the fairness of allowing immigrant students who pay taxes, work hard, and graduate from our high schools to pay the same in-state tuition rate as their other classmates. It is to everyone’s benefit that these successful, intelligent and passionate young people will be able to continue their education and give back to this state. As we move forward, the Catholic Church will continue to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for all, and for a just and humane solution to our country’s broken immigration system.
We are deeply grateful to the extraordinary outpouring of thousands of dedicated volunteers – from every race, faith, political party, generation, and corner of our state, who worked together with us on both issues to promote the truth about human dignity and marriage in a respectful and compassionate manner. May our unity on these issues continue to inspire our efforts to work together to achieve the common good for all of Maryland.
Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
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