By the narrowest of margins, legislation to redefine marriage was forced through the House with extraordinary political pressures and legislative maneuvers. The Maryland Senate has now rushed through deliberations on the bill in a mere 48 hours. Despite the momentous impact that redefining marriage will have on our society, despite grave concerns about the bill’s ambiguous and limited religious freedom protections, the Senate regrettably voted in favor of the legislation this evening.
Stripping marriage of its unique connection to parenthood erases from civil law the right of a child to a mother and father, and ignores an essential question of why government favors marriage between one man and one woman over all other relationships. That right was consistently ignored by proponents of the bill to redefine marriage, in favor of the claim that we must redefine marriage in order to provide legal protections to any two people who love each other. There are many ways to provide such protections; redefining marriage is not one of them.
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. Every time this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage. When this issue reaches the November ballot, we are confident that the citizens of Maryland will join voters in 31 other states in upholding marriage between one man and one woman.
Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents the three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.