Saturday, March 3, 2012

Maryland Governor Signed Bill on Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in MD

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the legislation for gay marriage, making Maryland the eighth state in the U.S. that legalized gay marriage. The bill did not pass the state assembly last year. Governor O’Malley claimed that the bill will promote religious freedom and protect human dignity. However, many African-American Catholic and evangelical lawmakers opposed this bill and claimed to push for a referendum in November in order to repeal it (BBC). Governor O’Malley wrote an article on Huffington Post explaining why he approved same-sex marriage. He thinks that the legalizing same-sex marriage will help children who have homosexual parents and will respect individual choices. However, his view is challenged by religious groups, especially black church. I checked out the demographic changes in Maryland over the past decade, and found out that there is a surging population of Hispanics but African American population rises relatively slowly. The Catholics are the dominant religious group. Religious groups have been active and asking people to sign on the petition to repeal the bill. I respect individual choices of marriage, but Governor O’Malley’s rationale does not fully convince me, because if it is paradoxical to claim to respect religious freedom and personal freedom while imposing certain groups’ belief of homosexual marriage on people who do not accept it.

1 comment:

Will Rusche said...

In response I would ask how exactly does marriage equality conflict with religious freedom?

As a Catholic in Maryland you are still free to hold your own beliefs and practice those beliefs within the context of your personal life. Marriage Equality simply makes all couples equal within the context of the state.

Will some Catholics now need to live alongside same-sex marriages despite their beliefs? Yes. Is this what we label imposing on the freedom of religion? I hope not.

You see, if marriage equality is seen as a trampling on religious freedom simply because the state isn't agreeing with the position of the Catholic Church, that what justifies the State not discriminating for offending groups such as those using birth control, those having pre-marital sex and the many citizens of New Jersey who are Jewish, Muslim or some other faith? Isn't the State's recognition of all these groups ALSO an affront to the religious freedom of the Catholic Church?

No, of course not. It's tolerance through the classic separation of Church and State.

Marriage Equality is about personal freedom with the context of the state. It has little to do with impeding on religious freedom.