VICTORY: Faith-based coalition (including Catholics and black churches) defeat same-sex marriage bill in Maryland!

All the interesting news happens on Fridays, it seems:

The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to effectively kill for this year a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage in the state.

The House approved on voice vote a motion to send the bill back to the Judiciary Committee, an acknowledgment by supporters that it did not have sufficient votes to pass on the floor.

The bill cleared the Senate two weeks ago on a 25-to-21 vote, and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had pledged to sign it.

Advocates for the bill had hoped Maryland would join five other states and the District in allowing same-sex marriages. The bill had significant momentum coming out of the Senate but ran into resistance in the Democatic-led House from African-American lawmakers from Prince George’s County, who cited religious opposition in their districts, and conservative Democrats in Southern Maryland and the Baltimore suburbs. (WaPo)

Make no mistake – the extraordinary activity of the black churches and Catholics in Maryland are responsible for perserving the definition of marriage in Maryland. In fact, Archbishop O’Brien of Baltimore called for Catholics to pray and fast on Ash Wednesday in support of marriage.

This is a victory for the common sense definition of marriage (which is grounded in both reason and our Catholic theology), and a victory for religious liberty and the natural family.

Thank you for all of your efforts which contributed to this vital win. Only weeks ago the other side was saying same-sex marriage was a “done deal” in Maryland. Once again, we’ve proven them wrong: people do care about the sanctity of marriage and family.

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51 thoughts on “VICTORY: Faith-based coalition (including Catholics and black churches) defeat same-sex marriage bill in Maryland!

  1. savvy says:

    Phil,

    You are right about civil laws, but you fail to make a distinction between a natural law and a positive one. Slavery was a positive law that violated a natural one. So was eugenics, the same can be argued for the death penalty.

    The ruling on gay marriage is also a positive law that violates a natural one.

    The distinctions that exist in nature, such as male/female, day/night, sea/land exist. The first principle of philosophy is existence. Something must exist. You can pretend it does not, but that does not change the reality of existence.

    Muslims and Jews do not want their articles of faith to be declared civil law. In the same way Catholics do not want their sacraments to be declared civil rights either.

    Politicizing people’s sacred covenants, sacraments are only going to result in the creation of state-churches that will not be democratic.

    The state should not play the role of the church.

    The whole point of this experiment is to make non-mongamy more acceptable and criminalize opposition.

    In my country, Canada there are already fights to legalize both polygamy and polyamory.

    If something is legal, the churches that do not marry gays, will be on the receiving end and seen as bigoted etc.

    Do not think for a second this will not have an impact on religious practise.

    1. Phil says:

      The distinctions that exist in nature, such as male/female, day/night, sea/land exist.

      Savvy, that much is true. But even though males and females exist, it would be folly to assert that _all_ men are the same or that _all_ women are the same. What is twilight? Is it day? Is it night? Is 1:00 a.m. very early in the morning, or is it very late at night? If sea and land exist, what is marsh? (For that matter, what is a freshwater lake? It’s certainly not the sea, and it’s not the land.) The problem with your thinking is not that distinctions don’t exist in nature–they do. The problem is that determining which distinctions matter is an arbitrary process. You risk falling into the fallacy of the false dichotomy. Of particular relevance to this debate is whether the distinction of homosexual/heterosexual exists. I would argue that heterosexuals exist, and that homosexuals exist, and that males exist, and that females exist. (I don’t rule out the existence of bisexuals and asexuals, but they are not relevant to my argument. I also don’t rule out the existence of persons who are biologically intersex. Do they exist in your world? What does the Catholic Church have to say about them?) Now, in my view, if the government provides an institution where two consenting adults can commit to each other legally and designate the other person as the individual who speaks for them in matters of law and has certain special rights based on the relationship, it makes no sense to restrict that legal structure based on gender. That’s arbitrary discrimination, based on the misguided stereotype that all males and females are heterosexual. However, no persons–male or female–have access to a government-sanctioned institution which permits one person to commit in a similar way to multiple spouses. So there is no discrimination. Discrimination requires two people to be treated differently under the law. With regard to polygamy, all people are currently treated the same. With regard to heterocentric marriage, men are treated differently than women. (And vice versa.) Do you see the point that I’m making?

      1. Bruce says:

        You are only free to draw a giraff if you give it a long neck. You are only free to fly an airplane if you respect the law of gravity. You are only free to drive in traffic if you do not run into other cars. You are only free to marry if you marry someone of the opposite sex. This really isn’t that hard, unless you want it to be.

  2. Paul Applesby says:

    Civil marriage has ALWAYS been a man-made institution. It has ALWAYS meant whatever some subset of people decided it would be. And they decide according to their biases, ignorances, religion, politics, greed, selfishness or whatever turns them on.

    1. Pete says:

      True, but may I add that in our society, civil marriage is informed not only by ignorance, politics, etc. but also by what good lawmakers believe is good public policy. That’s why they’ve determined a variety of things can constitute a valid civil marriage – including things like religious ceremonies in lie of civil ones and common law marriages. But to your point – yes, the people, the legislators and the judiciary (sometimes acting together, sometimes acting against one another) collectively determine what may constitute marriage. That’s just the way our laws work. Period. The question is whether it is good public policy to allow Bill and Charlie, the gay couple down the street who have been together for 26 years and have raised 3 adopted children, to forma legal civil marriage. The current Roman Catholic view of marriage as one man, one woman, not close blood relatives, having gone through pre-Cana instruction and being willing to forgoe artificial contraception, etc., is at most ONE factor that should be weighed in determining the answer.

    2. Bruce says:

      Wrong, yet again. Apples are apples because they’re apples, not because some subset of people decided what they should be. They are what they are, and would be still if people did not exist. Male and females reproduce. Their complementarity and capacity to produce more human beings is intrinsic to what and who they are. Marriage is that union of man and woman, which predates all “subsets of people deciding what it should be” since people are people, males are males, females are females, and together (male + female) equals more people (and is the only natural and truly successful environment in which to raise children…hence the state’s interest in preserving the truth). Marriage is an objective reality, not something you get to decide upon. It is what it is. Just as an apple is an objective reality, you do not get to decide what it is…it just is. You can decide whether you like it or not, but you do not get to decide what it is. The same is true of marriage.

      1. Phil says:

        Bruce, if marriage will still be marriage, just as “apples are apples,” when same-sex marriage is legal, then aren’t you simply proving the point that someone like Pete is trying to make? It matters not what civil law has to say on the subject; your view of marriage, if it is true, will be just as true after SSM is legal. In fact, I’d wager that you believe only one-man/one-woman marriages are true marriages in Massachusetts, Norway, Mexico City, Canada, etc. As such, you seem to be tilting at windmills. The definition of marriage that you find valid is a truism. So, for example, if the state decides that Scientology, Wicca, spiritism and Mel Gibson’s non-papist Catholicism are religions, and you believe that those are in fact, not true religions, well then, there you go. Your belief is true no matter what the state decides to call a “religion.” If Massachusetts calls a same-sex couple “married,” and you don’t believe it, there you go. Even if that couple gets to–horrors!–sleep together at night, and you don’t have the legal right to stop them, you don’t have to _believe_ that they’re truly married. Problem solved. You’ve made the philosophical case against your own political stance.

        1. Bruce says:

          Philip, first of all, there is no such thing as same-sex “marriage” anymore than there are unicorns. It simple doesn’t exist, because it isn’t possible. This isn’t a religious issue, as much as you want it to be, though it wouldn’t make the case against you any less strong or correct. Civil society has a vested interest in recognizing (and only recognizing) authentic marriage because it is only within that truly human institution where children can be properly raised and consenting adults find stability. A stable family leads to a stable society, and this has thousands of years of historical support. Homosexual “relationships” and activities have a nearly equal amount of evidence exhibiting how destructive and unstable those actions are to person involved and others. What is worse, is what happens to children mixed up in such disorder. The state recognizes this, and always has, and therefore seeks to limit such destructive behavior the same way it does for others like it (alcoholism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc…all of which are found in higher percentages among active homosexuals as well). To sanction violent, disordered, and destructive human behavior is to undermine the stability and order the state has a duty to provide and protect. Its really that simple.

          1. Phil says:

            Bruce,
            You are making several claims of fact and statistics, but you provide no evidence.

            Homosexual “relationships” and activities have a nearly equal amount of evidence exhibiting how destructive and unstable those actions are to person involved and others.

            If this evidence exists, Bruce, please provide a link to a credible source. If the evidence is not online, feel free to provide the bibliographic information for a peer-reviewed journal and I’d be happy to find it on my own.

            [...](alcoholism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc…all of which are found in higher percentages among active homosexuals as well).

            Do you have credible evidence for this?

          2. Bruce says:

            Oh Philip, you must be new here! I have posted so many studies and stats over the course of the past year showing the level of destructiveness in homosexual activities that I am astonished you have not seen them before. But, okey dokey, here are a few (1) http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02, (2) http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF10F01.pdf, (3) http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/aug/09081804, (4)http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010_docs/Homosexuality_Crisis2.pdf, (5) http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/sep/08091704, (6) http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2007/apr/07040309, (7) http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jul/05072502.html Shall I post more? I have several dozen more. NARTH is a good site to gain some truth about the disorder as well. I recommend it.

          3. Patrick says:

            Oh my goodneess, these are not credible sources! These are not peer-reviewed journals. They are merely the ramblings of religious zealots. This is akin to citing the writings of an abortionist about how great abortion is.

          4. Brian English says:

            Look at footnotes 46-52 in the second source Bruce links to. Are the Washington Blade, the CDC and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association made up of religious zealots?

          5. Phil says:

            Bruce…you didn’t link to any primary sources, and you didn’t link to the research of anyone who studied whether homosexuals have a higher rate of alcoholism, sexual abuse, domestic violence and, after studying this question, concluded that homosexuality was the reason those individuals had higher rates of (etc.) If I can successfully debunk the way that one of your articles interprets the research of other people, will you acknowledge that your article was wrong? I’m asking you seriously: if I can point out how one of the articles that you just provided a link for is wrong, will you admit it?

          6. Brian English says:

            Look at the complaint filed in Canada a couple of years ago by the gay rights group led by Gens Hellquist.

            If you bothered to look at the first FRC article Bruce links to, you would see it cites plenty of primary sources.

            Or better yet, spend 10 minutes searching on the web for documents produced by the various medical groups that actually serve the gay community and you will find a great deal of evidence on these issues.

  3. Kevin says:

    How do we know there won’t be any tricks to pass it again this session? The activists won’t let up pressure until they get what they want. Might the WaPo want to lull us into a false sense of security?

    I was sad to see a few Catholic legislators flipped to the pro-SSM side. What can we do to bring them back?

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