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Race, Religion or Bigotry to Decide Maryland Same Sex Law

Race, Religion or Bigotry to Decide Maryland Same Sex Law

 

Could it be true that a chance seating arrangement in the Maryland House of Delegates changed the opinion of a congressman who originally opposed same sex marriage?

Republican Wade Kach is known to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Last week when the same sex marriage bill was brought to the Maryland House floor,  Delegate Kach wound up sitting last minute near several of the bill’s supporters. Something changed for him during this meeting.  He saidWhen this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

The support of Kach and one other Republican helped to pass this bill.  It “squeaked through the 141-member chamber on a 72–67 vote. The bill’s passage through the Senate also was close – it passed 25-22 Thursday – and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat and a strong supporter of the law, is expected to sign it soon,” according to the LA Times.

According to the Washington Post’s most recent polls, 50% of Maryland residents support a gay marriage law and 44% are opposed to it.  Whether the bill is finally approved, however, some say rests in the hands of the state’s African American population, who make up 30% of the population.

Their opposition, some believed, could thwart passage of this bill in November when it is placed on the ballot.  So between now and June 30, the opposition will need 55,736 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot.

The reason why some think that African Americans will not support this law in a popular vote is because of their Protestant background.   It would seem, however, that a Protestant background and a conservative interpretation of the Bible, no matter the ethnicity, would most likely deliver the same results.

Of course, there is also the possibility that since a group has been discriminated against, there is a greater proclivity to support another that has endured the same thing.

If opposition to same sex marriage is at the top of the list of African American concerns or even a significant concern, why isn’t the face of this opposition African American rather than conservative right? And if Republican Kach can change his beliefs simply from interaction, why won’t others?

No, human nature is not simple. But it is also not that complicated. Let’s call this what it really is: bigotry. Rodney King was really that deep when he asked, “Can’t we all just get along.”

 

Related Stories:

Maryland House Passes Marriage Equality Bill

DOMA Unconstitutional Says Federal Judge

African Americans for Humanism Launch Awareness Campaign

 

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Photo credit: asterix611 via flickr

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67 comments

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3:48PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Firstly, the First Amendment is irrelevant; and the "Full Faith and Credit" Clause already requires that each State honor recognize, among other things, that duly constituted marriages of one be recognized by all.

Secondly, the Ten Commandments are silent on the issue of homosexuality, as was Jesus. So, to claim that there is a Divine proscription against it, let alone that it is a Sin, is wholly lacking for proof.

Lastly, mention of both serves merely as attempt at evasion by way of misdirection, so as to not have to address the fact that those who oppose the conflation of civil unions and marriages do so because they wish to deny the former the rights and benefits of the latter.

2:15PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

LD If the legislative branch of the government passes the law with the proper wording, then it gets ratified by the senate and congress. the civil unions would be protected by the first amendment and would be legal in all fifty states and there wouldn't be a fight between the gays and religious people. to put our position plane so you understand it, the bible considers the ACT of homosexuallity a sin. understand the person who commits an act of homosexuallity is guilty, but then so is the person who tells lies, or looks at a person of the opposit sex with lust guilty. so please learn to know the difference

6:48PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Darryl G. said "That gays want the same thing as hetrosexuals is fine, why do they have to call it marriage, call it a civil union or whatever as long as the government give you the same rights as me does not bother me, just please don't call it marriage"

Firstly, not all entities, public or private, accord civil unions the same rights and benefits as marriage.

More importantly, if they are so accorded, such that they would be functionally identical, what rational is there then for insisting on different terminologies?

The simple answer is that those who oppose the conflation of civil unions and marriages do so because they wish to deny the former the rights and benefits of the latter.

9:10AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I don't know why christians think they have a monopoly on marriage and everyone in this secular nation should follow their religious rules. Marriage existed long before christianity and even before monotheistic judiasm.

1:23PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

That gays want the same thing as hetrosexuals is fine, why do they have to call it marriage, call it a civil union or whatever as long as the government give you the same rights as me does not bother me, just please don't call it marriage

4:42AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

The good majority of Christians polled in the US support equality for LGBT people and they say it is because of their faith that they do. The majority of Jews do too. Unfortunately a big majority of Muslims do not (Islam commands the death penalty for gay people, among others) and the large portion of blacks who oppose rights for gay people is very disturbing. Have they learned nothing with their own struggle?

Leading black figures do speak out for gay equality like the wonderful Coretta Scott King and even Rev Al Sharpton, so let's hope these leaders can open the eyes of those blacks who are consumed by bigotry and turn them around.

Doesn't anyone else find it troubling that people's freedoms, equality and rights are still being voted on in this day and age? That certainly doesn't speak well of the Bill of Rights or Constitution, does it? No one should ever have the right to vote on someone else's equal rights under the law.

4:39AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Sandy E, it is the 1001 benefits that legally married couples get that gay couples want, and just being able to have their love recognized. Imagine if you were not allowed that same recognition.

Not being legally recognized can make a difference in taxes paid, social security benefits received, whether a partner is covered by health care or not, whether a partner is even allowed to visit their loved one in the ICU of a hospital or having a say in their treatment, funeral or burial. These things do matter as they should to unmarried cohabiting non-gay couples.

No country will be truly a free democracy until ALL of its people are treated equally under the law.

10:15PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Atocha B. I loved what you wrote about life being full of pain and sorrow so how dare anybody deny somebody else the joy of love. I couldn't agree with you more.

And as for the "gays can't procreate" - BS. There are plenty of ways for gay people to procreate including egg harvesting, invitro fertilization and the use of a surrogate, if that's what is needed.

But more importantly, gay couples will often adopt children who need loving homes, and often gay couples are willing to adopt children that white, heterosexual couples may not be willing to adopt (mixed race children, children with disabilities or other challenges). I think that is a great benefit to society.

Finally, marriage is indeed a civil contract only. No religious certification or ceremony is needed, therefore religion has no place in determing who can get married by the state. Churches can determine who they will marry in their sanctuaries and that is their right, but for any church to stop a same-sex couple from getting married by the state is a violation of the separation of church and state.

8:48PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

We're so close to victory. I just hope it gets through and into law.

5:52PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

It is a human rights issue. The Catholic Church has NO BUSINESS in anybody's bedroom telling ANYBODY which orifice to stick it into or how, when or if to REPRODUCE!!! Their "religion" is their OPINION, and their OPINION is no better than MY OPINION, and my OPINION is they are NUTS! KEEP THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OUT OF EVERYBODY'S BEDROOM!! TAX THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!! Sign this petition!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/38/abolish-the-tax-exempt-status-of-catholic-businesses/

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