It is only through extraordinary political pressures and legislative maneuvers by the Governor and party leadership that the House of Delegates has pushed through legislation that will drastically alter society’s foundation for this generation and the generations to come.
Instead of allowing a vote of conscience and a measured level of debate on an issue of such consequential impact on our state, they have strong-armed a bare majority of votes, and rushed a bill through committee and floor votes while ignoring customary legislative procedures.
Abetted by out-of-state organizations, monied interests and activists, a small cadre of same-sex marriage proponents is attempting to thwart the will of the citizens of Maryland by overturning the time-tested definition of marriage.
Now we turn our attention to the state Senate. We urge them to reject the argument that government needs to redefine marriage so that same-sex couples can receive benefits. We urge them to give reasoned and honest consideration to the inevitable conflicts that passing this bill will create between government and religious communities. We urge them to allow the time that the House leadership denied to ensuring this issue will be treated with the serious and well thought-out examination it deserves.
Finally, we commend the many members of the House of Delegates who stood by their convictions, their campaign promises, and the wishes of their constituents in order to uphold marriage between one man and one woman.
We commend too the thousands of Marylanders who have become engaged in advocating for the foundational institution of our society – the union of one man and one woman. We urge these citizens to remain fully involved and committed to this issue, and if needed, to remain committed to working together to uphold marriage by bringing this issue to a vote of the people of Maryland.
On the eve of the Papal Consistory, Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien also issued the following statement on the passage of the same-sex marriage bill by the Maryland General Assembly:
“Today is a sad day for the State of Maryland and for Maryland families. In one fleeting moment, the House of Delegates moved our state one step closer to undoing what civilizations surely have upheld for thousands of years, one step closer to violating a law deeply embedded in human nature, with tectonic repercussions for the future of family life and the common good of all. Neither the Church nor the state has the right to alter the life-giving union created by God for the benefit of all society...this even for an attractive but fleeting goal for profitable political gain.
“At St. Peter's Basilica tomorrow, I will pray that those in the Senate, please God, will have the wisdom and courage to vote their consciences in the face of tremendous and unprecedented political pressure, maneuvers and strong-arming, and will stand up for Maryland's families by rejecting this radical and detrimental legislation.”
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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